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

President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse panel approves 0.5B defense policy bill House panel votes against curtailing Insurrection Act powers after heated debate House panel votes to constrain Afghan drawdown, ask for assessment on 'incentives' to attack US troops 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) MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout MORE’s team have concerns with Attorney General William BarrBill BarrBarr praises Seattle police chief as officers clear protest zone Judge strikes down Trump administration rule denying asylum to most migrants at southern border Supreme Court declines challenge to DOJ execution method 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.