Trump ramps up rhetoric on media, calls press 'the enemy of the people'

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says US has coronavirus 'totally under control' Senate Republicans muscle through rules for Trump trial Collins breaks with GOP on attempt to change impeachment rules resolution MORE said Friday that the press is “truly the enemy of the people,” ratcheting up his use of the derisive label to attack the news media.

“The press is doing everything within their power to fight the magnificence of the phrase, MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!” Trump tweeted.

“They can’t stand the fact that this Administration has done more than virtually any other Administration in its first 2yrs,” he continued. “They are truly the ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE!”

The president has previously described specific outlets and “fake news” as the “enemy of the people,” but so far had not used the characterization to describe the full press corps.

Trump issued the tweet hours after he said he would not attend this year’s White House correspondents' dinner, telling reporters that it was "too negative." Trump previously declined to attend last year's dinner.

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It was not immediately clear what triggered the president's tweet, which came as he flew on Air Force One to visit the border in Calexico, Calif.

The president has in the last two days lashed out at two major news outlets.

He slammed The New York Times on Thursday for reporting that members of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerSchiff: Trump acquittal in Senate trial would not signal a 'failure' Jeffries blasts Trump for attack on Thunberg at impeachment hearing Live coverage: House Judiciary to vote on impeachment after surprise delay MORE’s team have concerns with Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrBarr wrote 2018 memo contradicting Trump's claim that abuse of power is not impeachable Brent Budowsky: McConnell, Roberts and Trump on trial End impeachment's government shutdown MORE's summary of its report on the Russia investigation, calling it a "Fake News paper."

On Friday, Trump took aim at The Washington Post, calling the news outlet "Crazed and Dishonest."

Trump has had an acrimonious relationship with the news media since the campaign trail, regularly deriding coverage he dislikes as "fake news" and singling out particular outlets and reporters. He has rejected calls to tone down his rhetoric, even in the wake of explosive devices being sent to CNN and prominent Democrats he has criticized.