Authoritarian world leaders are adopting Trump’s use of ‘fake news’: report

Authoritarian world leaders are adopting Trump’s use of ‘fake news’: report
© Getty Images

Authoritarian leaders have adopted President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump: LeBron James's 'racist rants' are divisive, nasty North Carolina man accused of fraudulently obtaining .5M in PPP loans Biden announces picks to lead oceans, lands agencies MORE’s “fake news” slogan to try and delegitimize the media in their own countries, Politico reported Friday.

Politico found that leaders in countries including Turkey, Syria, Venezuela and the Philippines have used the phrase to fire back at media reports.


Syrian President Bashar Assad used “fake news” to dismiss a report that thousands of people had died at one of his military prisons by saying, “you can forge anything these days, we are living in a fake news era.”

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has also called the media “fake news,” as has Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

Trump began using the phrase during his presidential bid to shoot down news reports about him and his campaign, and has continued using it during his administration.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told Politico their story is “really ridiculous.”

“The president isn’t against free speech but we do think reporting should be accurate,” she wrote in an email.

Experts told Politico that other world leaders adopting the phrase is a sign that they’re taking their cues from the U.S. and is a way they can “will away” negative stories about their leadership.