Dan Rather: Trump criticism of media is 'straight out of Orwell'

Veteran journalist Dan Rather said on Friday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrumps light 97th annual National Christmas Tree Trump to hold campaign rally in Michigan 'Don't mess with Mama': Pelosi's daughter tweets support following press conference comments MORE’s false statements about and attacks on the media are “straight out of Orwell.”

The former longtime CBS News anchor told CNN’s Don Lemon that Trump is “authoritarian” and wants people to believe that “the one and only truth comes from him.”

“[George] Orwell, what he wrote, it’s practically a shooting script for Donald Trump,” Rather said, referencing the dystopian author. “There is a method to this, and the method is to convince people that the only truth is the truth that comes from me, the ultimate power.”

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“As several people have said before me, he is not just attacking the truth, he wants to annihilate the truth,” the former anchor added. “He wants to move us completely into the post-truth political era in which there’s no such thing as objective facts.”

Rather added that there “has been some desperation” in Trump’s recent attacks, as the president faces mounting pressure from special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerTrump says he'll release financial records before election, knocks Dems' efforts House impeachment hearings: The witch hunt continues Speier says impeachment inquiry shows 'very strong case of bribery' by Trump MORE’s probe into possible collusion between Russia and Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, as well as issues surrounding his former longtime personal lawyer Michael Cohen.

“And as he gets more desperate he takes bigger risks in telling bigger lies or more often telling lies. And telling people, ‘look, don’t believe what you read or see anywhere else, just come to me. I have the ultimate truth, I am the way,’ ” Rather said.

Trump has repeatedly attacked the media since the early days of his campaign, often labelling unflattering reports about him and his administration “fake news.”

He told a crowd at the Veterans of Foreign Wars National Convention last week that “what you're seeing and what you're reading is not what's happening."

"Don’t believe the crap you see from these people, the fake news,” Trump said, pointing toward the media.