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President Trump on Friday lambasted the news media as the “opposition party,” echoing the words of his chief counselor Stephen Bannon.
“I think the media is the opposition party in many ways,” Trump said in an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network when asked about Bannon's comment.
“I’m not talking about everybody, but a big portion of the media, the dishonesty, total deceit and deception. It makes them certainly partially the opposition party, absolutely," Trump added.
"I say they treat me so unfairly it’s hard to believe that I won," Trump continued. "But the fortunate thing about me is I have a big voice. I have a voice that people understand. And you see it now."
Trump’s comments add fuel to a longstanding war his team has waged against the news media, a sign the contentious relationship won’t change now that he is in the White House.
It comes a day after Bannon, the former chairman of the right-wing website Breitbart News, described the mainstream press in identical terms.
“The media should be embarrassed and humiliated and keep its mouth shut and just listen for awhile,” the White House adviser told The New York Times, labeling the press corps the “opposition party.”
The similarity of their statements shows the degree to which Bannon and Trump are in sync. The adviser has reportedly had a major role in drafting the flurry of executive orders the president has signed in his first week.
News organizations in recent days have blasted Trump for false claims about the size of the crowd at his inauguration and for declaring with no evidence that there was widespread voter fraud in the 2016 elections.
The Trump White House is, in turn, angry with what is sees as persistent negative coverage of Trump’s words and actions.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer angrily denounced the press during a surprise Saturday statement at the White House briefing room, and Trump aides have floated the possibility of moving briefings, or reporters themselves, out of the West Wing.