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Trump rips ‘Fake News Media’: Many of the stories are ‘total fiction’

President TrumpDonald John TrumpFive takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke's debate showdown Arpaio files libel suit against New York Times IMF's Christine Lagarde delays trip to Middle East MORE in an early morning tweet on Thursday blasted the “Fake News Media,” saying many of the stories written about him and his staff are “total fiction.”

“The Fake News Media is going Crazy! They make up stories without any backup, sources or proof. Many of the stories written about me, and the good people surrounding me, are total fiction,” he tweeted. “Problem is, when you complain you just give them more publicity. But I’ll complain anyway!”

Trump did not specify a report that sparked the tweet, but he faced widespread criticism after a news conference on Monday with Russian President Vladimir Putin in which he appeared to embrace Putin’s denial of election meddling and said the U.S. shared blame for tense relations between Washington and Moscow.

The president and his staff have attempted to walk back and clarify his comments since his return to the White House.

"The Fake News Media wants so badly to see a major confrontation with Russia, even a confrontation that could lead to war," Trump said in a subsequent tweet early Thursday. "They are pushing so recklessly hard and hate the fact that I’ll probably have a good relationship with Putin. We are doing MUCH better than any other country!"

He later thanked Fox News and “Fox & Friends” for their coverage of his comments on Russian election meddling.

The president often labels critical reports “fake news” and has called the media an “enemy of the American people.”

"It's crazy. You do something that's positive, and they try and make it as negative as possible," he told CBS News during an interview broadcast Wednesday evening. "Not all. And I have to say this, some of the most honorable people I know, some great people, are reporters, journalists, et cetera. But the level of dishonesty in your profession is extremely high."

"They didn't cover my meeting [with Putin]," he added. "The important thing, frankly, was the meeting that lasted for 2 1/2 hours, or almost 2 1/2 hours. And in that meeting, we discussed many, many things that were very, very positive for both countries."

Updated at 7:17 a.m.