Poll: Nearly half of Republicans think Trump should have authority to shutter media outlets

Forty-three percent of Republicans think President TrumpDonald John TrumpPapadopoulos on AG's new powers: 'Trump is now on the offense' Pelosi uses Trump to her advantage Mike Pence delivers West Point commencement address MORE “should have the authority to close news outlets engaged in bad behavior,” while only 36 percent disagreed with the statement, according to an Ipsos poll released Tuesday

A large number of Republicans polled also took issue with the media in general, with 48 percent agreeing that the news media is “the enemy of the American people.” Seventy-nine percent said mainstream media outlets treat Trump “unfairly.”

The Daily Beast first reported the poll results.

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While Republicans criticized the media in higher numbers than Democrats and independents, 12 percent of Democrats and 21 percent of independents said the president should have the power to close down news operations “engaged in bad behavior.”

Twelve percent of Democrats and 26 percent of independents agreed the media is “the enemy of the American people."

Trump has repeatedly criticized members of the media on Twitter and at campaign rallies. During a rally last Friday in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., the president lambasted the media as the “fake, fake disgusting news.”

The stance has split Republicans in the executive and legislative branches. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders refused to denounce the “fake news” moniker, while Ivanka TrumpIvana (Ivanka) Marie TrumpTrump family members will join state visit to UK The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump blows up meeting after Pelosi 'cover up' remarks Trump adviser expected to leave White House, join Juul MORE and Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamTrump declassification move unnerves Democrats Climate change is a GOP issue, too New Yorker cover titled 'The Shining' shows Graham, McConnell, Barr polishing Trump's shoes MORE (R-S.C.) have said the press is not the enemy of the people.

A majority of all those polled seemed to agree with Trump and Graham, with 57 percent saying the media was “necessary to keep the Trump administration honest.”

However, respondents also seemed overwhelmingly willing to open journalists up to lawsuits, with 72 percent agreeing it should be easier to sue reporters who knowingly publish false information.

Ipsos surveyed 1,003 American adults online from Aug. 3 to 6. The poll did not have a margin of error, but had a credibility interval of 3.5 percentage points.