President TrumpDonald TrumpMcAuliffe takes tougher stance on Democrats in Washington Democrats troll Trump over Virginia governor's race Tom Glavine, Ric Flair, Doug Flutie to join Trump for Herschel Walker event MORE lashed out at the mainstream news media on Friday over coverage of his bilateral summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, accusing reporters who he said questioned his treatment of Putin of being "hypocrites."
The president attacked critics in the tweet for chastising his "too nice" treatment of Putin, and argued that they would similarly complain if he had taken a tougher stance on Russia's election interference and foreign policy.
According to Trump, the proof is criticism he earned on his rhetoric toward North Korea's Kim Jong Un. Trump dubbed Kim "Rocket Man" and threatened him with "fire and fury" last year.
"I got severely criticized by the Fake News Media for being too nice to President Putin. In the Old Days they would call it Diplomacy. If I was loud & vicious, I would have been criticized for being too tough. Remember when they said I was too tough with Chairman Kim? Hypocrites!" Trump wrote on Twitter on Friday.
I got severely criticized by the Fake News Media for being too nice to President Putin. In the Old Days they would call it Diplomacy. If I was loud & vicious, I would have been criticized for being too tough. Remember when they said I was too tough with Chairman Kim? Hypocrites!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 20, 2018
Journalists and some politicians slammed the president's tough rhetoric aimed at Kim last year, accusing him of sounding more like a North Korean diplomat than a U.S. president.
This sounds like something North Korea would say. https://t.co/oXxHhRfNW9— Jessica Huseman (@JessicaHuseman) August 8, 2017
No joke: I read Trump's statement on North Korea and thought it was a North Korean statement on Trump.— Noah Rothman (@NoahCRothman) August 8, 2017
Trump later said he "felt foolish" using the harsh rhetoric toward Kim. The two men met face to face earlier this year.
The president clashed with the news media this week after he appeared to side with Putin during their joint press conference on Monday over the issue of Russian interference in the 2016 election, telling reporters that he saw no reason why the culprits "would be" from Russia.
Trump later walked back that statement at the White House on Tuesday, claiming that he meant to say instead that there was no reason Russia "wouldn't" be behind 2016 efforts to undermine the election.
The initial statement resulted in a firestorm of criticism from both Republicans and Democrats in Washington, who accused the president of abandoning his own intelligence agencies' assessment in favor of Russian explanations.