Trump: ‘Fake News Has Contributed Greatly to the Anger and Rage That Has Built Up Over Many Years’

Zachary Stieber
By Zachary Stieber
August 5, 2019Politics
Trump: ‘Fake News Has Contributed Greatly to the Anger and Rage That Has Built Up Over Many Years’
President Donald Trump waves to members of the media as he and first lady Melania Trump walk across the South Lawn of the White House in Washington on Aug. 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

President Donald Trump said that “fake news” from media outlets has “contributed greatly” to problems of polarization in the country and urged the media to report on issues and events fairly.

“The Media has a big responsibility to life and safety in our Country. Fake News has contributed greatly to the anger and rage that has built up over many years,” Trump wrote on Twitter on Aug. 5.

“News coverage has got to start being fair, balanced and unbiased, or these terrible problems will only get worse!” Trump added.

The president’s comments came after mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, over the weekend, and attempts by some media outlets to connect at least one of the shootings to Trump with scant evidence to indicate a connection.

The alleged shooter in El Paso was identified as 21-year-old Patrick Crusius. He was captured alive, and the shooting is being probed as an act of domestic terrorism.

The alleged shooter in Dayton, Connor Betts, was shot dead by officers.

Trump addressed the shootings directly in comments to reporters and in posts on Twitter.

“I want to extend our condolences to the people of El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio,” Trump told reporters on Sunday. “They’re incredible people and they’ve been through a lot. I just want to also thank the law enforcement in both places. The job they’ve done is incredible. I also want to congratulate them. I mean, nobody could have done what they’ve done. This could have been—as bad as it was, it could have been so much worse.”

“Hate has no place in our country. And we’re going to take care of it,” he added, noting he had spoken with Attorney General William Barr and FBI Director Christopher Wray, in addition to a number of governors, law enforcement officials, and members of Congress.

On Twitter on Monday, Trump added: “We cannot let those killed in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, die in vain. Likewise for those so seriously wounded. We can never forget them, and those many who came before them.”

“Republicans and Democrats must come together and get strong background checks, perhaps marrying this legislation with desperately needed immigration reform. We must have something good, if not GREAT, come out of these two tragic events!” he added.

The president ordered the flags at the White House and all federal government buildings lowered to half-staff on Sunday and said he and First Lady Melania Trump would be praying for those impacted by the shootings. The flags would remain lowered through Thursday, he added. Trump called the shootings “evil” and said “God bless” the people of El Paso and Dayton.

Trump said that he planned to make a statement on the shootings on Monday morning around 10 a.m.

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