‘Leaks real, the news is fake’: Reporters hit out at Trump trashing of media
President Trump was bombarded with questions regarding the leaks which led to the resignation of his national security advisor, Mike Flynn, while announcing former Assistant Attorney General Alexander Acosta as his nominee for secretary of labor on Thursday.
Asked by a reporter whether the leaks coming from his administration were genuine, Trump said: “Well the leaks are real… the news is fake because so much of the news is fake.”
The statement has resulted in a Twitter meltdown from some reporters and viewers of Thursday's White House press conference.
"The leaks are real, the news is fake." pic.twitter.com/xRhx6WUqOl— Philip Lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) February 16, 2017
Responding online, NBC News reporter Bradd Jaffy tweeted: “Both. Of . Those. Things. Cannot. Be. True. At. The. Same. Time.”
Trump: "The leaks are absolutely real. The news is fake."— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) February 16, 2017
Both. Of. Those. Things. Cannot. Be. True. At. The. Same. Time.
"The leaks are real. The news is fake."— Suzanne Davis (@SoozieCuzie) February 16, 2017
"I don't mind bad stories, if they're true."
W...I....Where am I? pic.twitter.com/mlENU3ybIg
Journalist Kurt Eichenwald, who last year reported how he had been assaulted via Twitter, described the comment as a historic presidential quote for “silliness”.
"The leaks are real, the news is fake." Write date down. This is a historic prez quote for silliness. Like "depends what meaning of is is."— Kurt Eichenwald (@kurteichenwald) February 16, 2017
"The leaks are real. The news is fake. She's born with it AND it's Maybelline." – @POTUS— Full Frontal (@FullFrontalSamB) February 16, 2017
Meanwhile Al Jazeera’s Mehdi Hasan, perhaps fed up with all the recent White House escapades, called for the return of former US presidents George W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, and Richard Nixon.
“All is forgiven,” he tweeted. “Trump just said he watches CNN and he doesn’t watch CNN in the same sentence. In the SAME SENTENCE,” he added.
Trump just said he watches CNN and he doesn't watch CNN in the same sentence. In the SAME SENTENCE!— Mehdi Hasan (@mehdirhasan) February 16, 2017
THAT DOESN'T MAKE ANY SENSE. if the leaks are real how is the news about the leaks fake? JESUS HELP US ALL.— Zerlina Maxwell (@ZerlinaMaxwell) February 16, 2017
Earlier Trump said leaks about government activities were ‘illegal’.
“The first thing I thought of is how does the press get this information that’s classified… it’s an illegal process, and the press should be ashamed of themselves,” he said.
“But more importantly, the people that gave out the information to the press should be ashamed of themselves.”
Mike Flynn resigned from his senior advisory role after it emerged he had given “incomplete information” to Vice President-Elect Mike Pence about a December call with Russia's ambassador to the US.
Republican Devin Nunes, who heads the US House Intelligence Committee, has suggested that an investigation should be launched into how confidential phone talks were made available to the media.