Trump And Putin Appear United In Their Hostility For The Press

President Trump is under fire for apparently agreeing with Russian leader Vladimir Putin’s criticism of U.S. news media, according to RawStory.

“@FoxNews is MUCH more important in the United States than CNN, but outside of the U.S., CNN International is still a major source of (Fake) news, and they represent our Nation to the WORLD very poorly,” Trump tweeted Saturday. “The outside world does not see the truth from them!”

The Hill reported that the president also wrote: “We should have a contest as to which of the Networks, plus CNN and not including Fox, is the most dishonest, corrupt and/or distorted in its political coverage of your favorite President (me). They are all bad. Winner to receive the FAKE NEWS TROPHY!”

The New York Times noted that just a few hours before the president wrote the messages, Putin approved legislation forcing U.S. news media companies to register as foreign agents. The timing sparked renewed allegations of collusion between Trump and the Kremlin. “These things come at you so fast and furious … that I fear Americans may become numb to this and start to think it’s normal behavior,” John McLaughlin, a former acting director of the CIA, warned during an interview on MSNBC.

He continued: “What’s really going on here is the president has abdicated his responsibility as a credible spokesman for American values. This is the kind of thing that gives Putin a talking point in a country that already has no free media, where the journalists are essentially sycophantic to the president.”

McLaughlin alleged that Trump’s tweeting “endangers the lives of journalists overseas, and it sends a message to dictators around the world that the president of the United States, normally the representative of a free media, doesn’t particularly care.” He added: “It’s the kind of thing you almost can’t make up. If you put it a novel, you probably wouldn’t believe it or think it was too fantastical.”

According to the Times, Russia’s new regulations will have the greatest impact on Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, which the U.S. government controls. The effect on CNN and other media companies is not yet clear. Kremlin officials said they were responding to the United States having required RT, a Russian-government news outlet, to register as a foreign agent.

Some Republicans are joining Democrats in condemning the president. “Mr. Trump’s eagerness to win the favor of autocrats remains one of the most concerning aspects of his presidency,” GOP strategist Alex Conant declared. “If the leader of the free world does not champion the free press, then who will?” U.S. journalists are already “harassed by Russian authorities and face extensive restrictions on their work,” said John F. Lansing, an executive for Voice of America and Radio Free Europe.

Trump’s criticism of the news media began early in his presidential campaign. The candidate told his supporters that mainstream journalists were “dishonest” and responsible for “fake news.” Since entering the White House, he has continued to slam reporters. Press-freedom organizations have expressed concern that the president’s remarks will encourage Russia and other authoritarian countries to impose more restrictions on the media.

Source: RawStory
Photo: YouTube

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