Trump declines to take responsibility for press censorship in name of 'fake news'

President TrumpDonald John TrumpForget the spin: Five unrefuted Mueller Report revelations Lara Trump: Merkel admitting migrants 'one of the worst things that ever happened to Germany' Financial satisfaction hits record high: survey MORE took credit for coining the term “Fake News” but said it is wrong when foreign governments use that phrase to suppress a free press in their countries during a conversation with New York Times publisher A. G. Sulzberger published on Friday.

At the same time, Trump declined to take responsibility for any media suppression by leaders decrying fake news.

“I do notice that people are declaring more and more fake news, where they go, ‘Fake news!’ ” Trump said.

ADVERTISEMENT

But Trump said he doesn't think that is done because of him.

“I even see it in other countries. I don’t necessarily attribute that to me,” Trump said. “I think I can attribute the term to me. I think I was the one that started using it, I would say.”

When Sulzberger asked about the use of the term to suppress independent scrutiny, according to the Times account of the discussion, Trump said, “I don’t like that. I mean, I don’t like that.”

“I don’t like — though I do think it’s very bad for a country when the news is not accurately portrayed. I really do,” he continued. “And I do believe I’m a victim of that, honestly.”

Trump invited Sulzberger to dinner, but Sulzberger said he preferred to have an on-the-record conversation with reporters present, which led to the Oval Office meeting, according to the Times.

The two previously had a dialogue about press freedom and fake news in July. Trump tweeted that they had a “good and interesting meeting” but Sulzberger said he went to the White House to “raise concerns about the president’s deeply troubling anti-press rhetoric.” Sulzberger said then that the president was proud to have popularized the “fake news” term.

Sulzberger became The Times’s publisher in December 2017, when his father stepped down from the position.

“The Failing New York Times has a new publisher, A.G. Sulzberger. Congratulations!” Trump tweeted about the change in leadership. “Get.......[sic] impartial journalists of a much higher standard, lose all of your phony and non-existent “sources,” and treat the President of the United States FAIRLY, so that the next time I (and the people) win, you won’t have to write an apology to your readers for a job poorly done! GL”