'This is not a reality show': Obama urges MSM to scrutinize Trump (VIDEO)

Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump. © Kevin Lamarque
President Obama has called on the mainstream media to hold Donald Trump to account by reporting seriously on the candidate without being distracted by “the circus and the spectacle”.

Speaking at the White House on Friday, the president said the presumptive Republican nominee has a long record that needs to be examined and his past statements need to be taken seriously.

“I just want to emphasize the degree to which we are in serious times and this is a really serious job,” he told reporters.

“This is not entertainment. This is not a reality show. This is a contest for the presidency of the United States.”

He emphasized the importance of critical reporting and scrutinizing every candidate, their budgets, and their proposed solutions to serious policy issues.

“If it’s completely implausible and would not work, that needs to be reported on and the American people need to know that,” Obama said.

He also called for greater coverage of a candidate’s approach to international issues that could threaten war or America’s relationships with other countries. Obama said that if “candidates are held to what they’ve said in the past” then he is “confident our democracy will work.”

“Emphasizing the spectacle and the circus, that’s not something we can afford,” Obama added.

Trump’s controversial foreign policy includes dismantling NATO and completely banning Muslim immigration into America. He has also said more countries, such as Japan, South Korea and Saudi Arabia, should have nuclear weapons.

Republican House speaker Paul Ryan has refused to endorse Trump, a matter Obama declined to comment on in detail. Instead, the president said the onus is on voters to decide if Trump represents their values.

READ MORE: Top Republicans refuse to back Trump despite past words and calls for unity 

Trump and Ryan are to meet with Republican House of Representatives leaders next week in an attempt to unite the party, according to Reuters.

The president also made it clear he has no interest in Trump’s viral tweets when asked about a particularly controversial tweet posted by the billionaire businessman earlier this week.

READ MORE: Trump sets off Cinco de Mayo controversy with ‘taco bowl’ tweet 

"I have no thoughts on Mr. Trump's tweets," he said.

"As a general rule, I don't pay attention to Mr. Trump's tweets. I think that will be true for the next six months, so you can just file that one.”