By WJLA-TV | 09/25/2018 06:30:57 President Donald Trump’s latest attack on the media is a classic case of overreach.
On Wednesday, he threatened to sue the Washington Post, The Associated Press, NBC News and others, calling them “the failing media” for reporting on his administration’s handling of the Charlottesville riots and the president’s call for unity.
In a tweet, Trump wrote, “I will sue these newspapers & @NBCNews &” and the AP tweeted, “If Trump doesn’t like it, he can sue any news outlet he chooses.”
It was an unusually aggressive response to an AP report that the White House has denied having any knowledge of.
Trump has repeatedly claimed that his administration has no “control” over what the press reports.
He has also said he has the power to fire or demote journalists at will.
The president has previously called for the end of the press.
He even went so far as to tweet out a tweet about the AP story that was subsequently deleted.
The AP and others said they would review Trump’s tweets, but the president appeared to have an advantage.
Trump fired a tweet on Thursday that read, “The Fake News Media is trying to stop me from getting things done!
The Presidency is running too well.”
The tweet was in response to a report from The Washington Post that Trump, on Saturday, met with a group of leaders in the White White House to discuss the Charlottesville unrest.
In the tweet, he said he spoke with President Steve Bannon, Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, and then he asked for their help.
“I spoke with Steve Bannon &.; Reince and H.
McMaster &., to get their thoughts &,” he wrote.
“We will soon have a plan on how to handle the threat of a major civil rights lawsuit against the White house.
The Post reported that the president called Bannon on the phone to discuss “resisting” the lawsuit, and that the leaders had discussed “resolving differences” that could “allow the president to have full control of the situation.”
The White House quickly said that the meeting was private and that no decision had been made.
But Trump’s tweet on Wednesday appeared to indicate that he had given Bannon permission to file a lawsuit, which would give him a powerful legal tool to retaliate against the news organization.
Trump was furious that The Post was publishing a story about the Charlottesville violence that he has repeatedly denied, saying it had “no credibility.”
But in a tweet later Thursday, Trump said he was “proud” of Bannon, who was fired as the president-elect on Jan. 6, and said he had the power “to sue these papers &, @NBC News &.”
He did not provide details of the suit.
Bannon is a former senior adviser to Trump and a senior White House official who was a prominent figure during the campaign who served as the executive chairman of Breitbart News.
The White Nationalists, who have frequently been critical of Trump, have been emboldened in recent weeks.
Trump’s firing of the Washington, D.C., bureau chief of the Associated Press on Wednesday was seen as another sign that the President is willing to use his power to punish journalists.