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

President TrumpDonald John Trump Former US ambassador: 'Denmark is not a big fan of Donald Trump and his politics' Senate Democrats push for arms control language in defense policy bill Detroit county sheriff endorses Booker for president 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 MuellerMueller report fades from political conversation Trump calls for probe of Obama book deal Democrats express private disappointment with Mueller testimony MORE’s team have concerns with Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrProsecutors are mainly to blame for the criminal justice crisis The Hill's Morning Report - Trump hews to NRA on guns and eyes lower taxes 10 declassified Russia collusion revelations that could rock Washington this fall 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.