The White House said it wouldn’t renew its subscriptions to the New York Times and the Washington Post. The two newspapers have maintained a rather tempestuous relationship with President Donald Trump over the past few years.
In an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity on Monday night, Trump revealed that the White House was thinking about canceling the subscriptions, calling the New York Times “a fake newspaper” and saying “we don’t even want it in the White House anymore.”
“We’re probably gonna terminate that and The Washington Post. They’re fake,” Trump continued.
While Trump’s comments can be interpreted as revoking White House press passes for The Times and Post reporters, the White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham confirmed to Politico on Tuesday that the president was indeed talking about subscriptions, “which we won’t be renewing.”
“Some say that Abraham Lincoln received harsher news coverage,” Trump, who has been describing himself as a victim of unfair media coverage on numerous occasions, told Hannity, “I say I dispute it.”
The New York Times reporting is false. They are a true ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 20, 2019
Trump denounced the New York Times as “enemy of the people” after his hometown newspaper published a report this February, accusing him of trying to influence the investigations into Michael Cohen, his former lawyer, and donor to his 2016 presidential campaign.
“The New York Times reporting is false,” Trump wrote in a tweet. “They are a true ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE!”
The Times took issue with Trump’s tweet, complaining in a statement that the phrase “enemy of the people” “is just false, it’s dangerous.”
“Everybody thinks The New York Times treats me terribly,” Trump reportedly said during an interview in the Oval Office with The Times’ senior editors. “Washington Post also, but The New York Times even more so treats me unbelievably terribly. And I think, I honestly believe you lose credibility by that. I don’t think I’ve had a good story in The New York Times.”
Earlier this month, the pro-Trump group American Priority screened a parody video at a conference at Trump’s Miami resort. A church massacre scene from the 2014 action film “Kingsman: The Secret Service” was edited to depict Trump taking down mainstream media brands such as NBC, CNN, New York Times, and Washington Post, as well as Trump’s opponents, including Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. The church in the film has been renamed the “Church of Fake News” in the video.