President Donald Trump is not one to mince words. With Twitter at his fingertips, Trump appears to take every opportunity that he can to share his thoughts on the social media platform. On Sunday, July 29, Trump tweeted about an apparent meeting with A.G. Sulzberger, the publisher of The New York Times. Donald Trump's tweet about fake news as the "enemy of the people" has people on Twitter reminding the president of his other recent tweets on the topic.
UPDATE: A.G. Sulzberger released a statement on Sunday, July 29 that confirmed a July 20 meeting with President Trump at the White House, and Sulzberger claimed his "main purpose for accepting the meeting was to raise concerns about the president's deeply troubling anti-press rhetoric," per the statement. He further claimed that he told the president that he was "...concerned about his labeling journalists 'the enemy of the people.'" The full statement can be read here. Elite Daily reached out to the White House for a comment on Sulzberger's statement but has not heard back at this time.
EARLIER: In his Sunday morning tweet, the president wrote about his "very good and interesting meeting" with Sulzberger, and then Trump made a statement that seemed to have the whole of Twitter raising their eyebrows. Trump concluded his tweet by writing,
...Spent much time talking about the vast amounts of Fake News being put out by the media & how that Fake News has morphed into phrase, 'Enemy of the People.' Sad!
Putting aside the term "Fake News" for a moment, I can agree that referring to a free and fair press as the "enemy of the people" is, indeed, very sad. The problem is that the president appears to have forgotten about his July 19 tweet that did just that. A quick glance at the two tweets immediately reveals conflicting statements regarding the president's feeling about the press.
It was only ten days earlier that Trump referred to the "Fake News Media" as the "real enemy of the people" in a tweet about the Helsinki Summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Without twisting his words or reading too deeply into the meaning of his tweet, you can clearly see a contradicting statement when he wrote, "The Summit with Russia was a great success, except with the real enemy of the people, the Fake News Media." So, there you have it: In one breath, Trump condemns what he seems to view as the bastardization of the term "fake news," and in the other, he plainly calls the media the enemy of the people.
That wasn't the first time Trump employed the phrase that was once favored by Joesph Stalin, who leveled it at anyone who disagreed with his or the Soviet government's ideologies, per Business Insider. Back in February 2017, Trump tagged five news organizations in a tweet that read,
The FAKE NEWS media (failing
@nytimes, @NBCNews, @ABC, @CBS, @CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!
With this obvious contradiction laid out before them, Twitter couldn't help but say something.
Others noted the way the president spoke of the press following an apparent meeting with the publisher of The New York Times, which Trump has repeatedly referred to as "The Failing New York Times."
Mark W. Smith, the audience editor for The Washington Post, got in on the joke and took a seat at his enemy-of-the-people desk. LOL.
Others speculated about what President Trump should be doing in important meetings.
Questioning the veracity of Trump's account of the conversation, another individual pointed out why some people who interact with the president prefer to record the conversation.
It's important to also note that one could argue the president's regular use of the term "fake news" — which usually refers to any negative reports about Trump — is just as much a disservice to the American people as calling the media the "enemy of the people," which, of course, he has also done.
Given that there is real fake news out there — like false news stories spread on Facebook — it's troubling that Trump so carelessly throws around the term whenever he is displeased with the facts reported. There's no denying that it is volatile time in American politics, and the current rhetoric from the top leader of the country does very little to diffuse the situation.
If, though, you are to believe that President Trump's tweets are official statements, then perhaps this is an indication that the president is moving toward a more even-keeled view of the press. Even if that's not the case, I hope that this tweet means that the president will refrain from using the term the "enemy of the people" in reference to the press. I guess you'll have to wait until his next tweet to find out.