New York Times publisher: Trump expressed pride for popularizing 'fake news' phrase

New York Times publisher: Trump expressed pride for popularizing 'fake news' phrase
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The publisher of The New York Times said on Sunday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic field begins to shrink ahead of critical stretch To ward off recession, Trump should keep his mouth and smartphone shut Trump: 'Who is our bigger enemy,' Fed chief or Chinese leader? MORE expressed pride for popularizing the phrase "fake news" during a discussion about media coverage of the administration.

A. G. Sulzberger told the Times that Trump, during a private meeting earlier this month, stood by his use of the phrase "fake news," which he often applies to mainstream media outlets such as CNN, The Washington Post and the Times.

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Trump also reportedly bragged that other countries had begun banning "fake news" as a result of his example. Sulzberger said he replied that those countries are dictatorships. 

Sulzberger also told the Times that Trump was surprised that newsrooms are increasingly hiring armed guards to protect their newsrooms in light of violent threats against journalists.

Sulzberger said Trump appeared to think newsrooms already had armed guards.

The discussion followed a mass shooting last month in the Capital Gazette newsroom in Maryland, which killed five and injured several others. 

Sulzberger said in an earlier statement on Sunday that his meeting with Trump was private, but the president violated their off-the-record agreement when he tweeted Sunday morning they had discussed "the vast amounts of Fake News being put out by the media." 

Sulzberger, however, insisted the focus of the conversation was Trump's increasingly inflammatory anti-press rhetoric.

"I told the president directly that I thought that his language was not just divisive but increasingly dangerous," Sulzberger said in a statement.

Trump in a series of tweets later Sunday called journalists "very unpatriotic" for reporting on government affairs. 

The president has continued to call the press the "enemy of the people" in the wake of the Capital Gazette shooting.