Well, this move isn’t going to gain the Republican establishment any points with the radical, far right base of Trump supporters. Donald Trump has, of course, long been ardent in his criticisms of supposedly “fake news,” angrily tweeting such criticisms as recently as Monday morning.
Now, in a definitely noteworthy move, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has come out against the president’s continued attacks on the media.
On Monday morning, the president masked an attack on the mainstream media in praise of one of his longtime ally’s appearances on one of his favorite shows, Fox & Friends.
He wrote on Twitter:
‘Jerry Falwell of Liberty University was fantastic on
@foxandfriends. The Fake News should listen to what he had to say. Thanks Jerry!’
Soon after, he added another jab at the media, replying to a bot account that expressed support for him and writing:
‘Thank you, the very dishonest Fake News Media is out of control!’
Obviously, this tweet is far from the first time that the president has slammed news as “fake.” He regularly calls news that he doesn’t like “fake” in an effort to soften its impact. This months-long campaign to squash the influence of the free press on the president’s part is what provides the context for McConnell’s Monday remarks.
Speaking Monday to a group gathered at the Louisville Chamber of Commerce, McConnell was asked about where he gets his news.
Although he did not name the president in his remarks — and no questioners apparently explicitly mentioned the president either — the shadow of his continuous attacks on the media weighed heavily over the event.
Sen. McConnell commented, when asked about where he gets his news:
‘What I do every morning — there a couple of services I look at that gives me a synopsis of articles. It is my view that most news is not fake. But I do try to look at a variety of sources. I try not to fall in love with any particular source.’
According to POLITICO, McConnell added that he “reads a variety of sources that Trump has blasted, including the New York Times.”
The Senate Majority Leader isn’t exactly on good terms with the president to begin with, having borne the brunt of severe criticism from the White House over the failure of the GOP effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act. As the Senate Majority Leader has shot back at the White House in response to criticism, Trump is simply in possession of a combination of ineptitude and unrealistic expectations.
Trump’s attacks on the media represent a dangerous threat to the foundation of American society, since free press is such a key part of what makes us what we are. Thus, although Sen. McConnell is hardly an admirable political leader, him making his opposition to the president’s anti-free press agenda known is a start.
He made his remarks while speaking alongside Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin “in an effort to boost hopes for the GOP’s next big legislative item — tax reform,” in the description of POLITICO.
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