Trump Lashes Out at “Fake News Media” and Anonymous Sources at Conservative Gathering

He also pledged to deport the “bad dudes” living in the country and to put “its own citizens first.”

Evan Golub/ZUMA

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President Donald Trump excoriated the “fake news media”—a category he has previously used to describe such outlets as the New York Times, CNN, and the Washington Post—during a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Friday for reporting stories that portray his increasingly tumultuous administration in a negative light.

“I called the fake news the enemy of the people, and they are,” Trump said. “There are some terrible dishonest people and they do a tremendous disservice to our country.”

He specifically railed against reporters’ use of anonymous sources and demanded that people who leak information to the press instead criticize him to his “face.”

“I’m against the people that make up stories and make up sources,” he said. “They shouldn’t be allowed to use sources unless they use somebody’s name. Let their name be put out there.”

The remarks come just hours after White House officials anonymously refuted a bombshell CNN story, which reported that the White House had asked the FBI to dispute recent evidence that Trump aides had communicated with Russian officials throughout the presidential election. Trump himself has also touted anonymous sources to underscore his conspiracy theory that Barack Obama was born in Kenya.

The president reiterated his commitment to building a border wall and repealing Obamacare. He also pledged to continue working to deport the “bad dudes” living in the country and to put “its own citizens first.”

“They’re not coming back in, folks,” he said.

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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