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

Forty-three percent of Republicans think President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: I hope voters pay attention to Dem tactics amid Kavanaugh fight South Korea leader: North Korea agrees to take steps toward denuclearization Graham calls handling of Kavanaugh allegations 'a drive-by shooting' 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 TrumpEx-Trump, progressive strategists battle over charges of anti-Semitism surrounding Eric Trump Ethics watchdog requests probe into Trump officials traveling to campaign events Trump praises Arizona governor's pick of Jon Kyl to succeed McCain MORE and Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamTrump: I hope voters pay attention to Dem tactics amid Kavanaugh fight Graham calls handling of Kavanaugh allegations 'a drive-by shooting' Graham knocks South Korea over summit with North 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.