US President Donald Trump
has called for the Senate Intelligence Committee to switch its focus from Russia’s alleged meddling in America’s 2016 presidential election to probing “fake news” media in the US.
In a series of tweets on Thursday, Trump made the call for an investigation into “fake news networks” one day after naming US news organizations NBC and CNN as “dishonest.”
“Why Isn’t the Senate Intel Committee looking into the Fake News Networks in OUR country to see why so much of our news is just made up-FAKE!”, he wrote on Twitter.
“NBC news is #FakeNews and more dishonest than even CNN,” Trump wrote. “They are a disgrace to good reporting. No wonder their news ratings are way down!”
On Wednesday NBC reported that US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called Trump a “moron” during a Pentagon meeting in July and was on the verge of resigning, citing several senior White House officials.
Following the reports, Tillerson swiftly arranged a brief news conference on Wednesday at the State Department and denied that he had considered resigning from Trump’s cabinet.
However, he did not issue an outright denial of having described Trump as a “moron”, saying, “I’m not going to deal with petty stuff like that.”
Trump’s call for an investigation also comes one day after the Senate Intelligence Committee’s chairman Richard Burr said the congressional investigation “has more work to do” to determine whether there was collusion between Russian officials and members of Trump’s election campaign.
“The collusion issue is still open”, Burr said, adding the panel had confirmed the findings of US intelligence agencies which had found that Russia interfered in the election.
Trump’s call for the committee to examine news reporting in the US rather than the alleged Russian meddling is the latest indication of his frustration with the media’s coverage of his administration.
In the last 48-hours, 8 of 19 of the president’s tweets and retweets have referenced “fake news” or the US media.
The US news media is also viewed unfavorably by the majority of Americans, 54-31 percent, according to a USA TODAY/Suffolk University poll released Thursday.