Trump accuses Boston Globe of 'collusion with other papers' amid coordinated pushback to his rhetoric

President TrumpDonald John TrumpHannity urges Trump not to fire 'anybody' after Rosenstein report Ben Carson appears to tie allegation against Kavanaugh to socialist plot Five takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke's fiery first debate MORE on Thursday accused the Boston Globe of "collusion with other papers" after the news outlet coordinated a nationwide effort to publish editorials pushing back against the president's attacks on the press.

It's Trump's first public comments on the Globe's efforts, and comes amid his fierce feud with much of the media.

"The Boston Globe, which was sold to the the Failing New York Times for 1.3 BILLION DOLLARS (plus 800 million dollars in losses & investment), or 2.1 BILLION DOLLARS, was then sold by the Times for 1 DOLLAR. Now the Globe is in COLLUSION with other papers on free press. PROVE IT!" Trump tweeted.

It's unclear what Trump was calling for the newspapers to prove, but his suggestion that news organizations were colluding with each other seemed to echo a tweet from Ari Fleischer, who said on Wednesday morning that multiple newspapers printing the same editorial message amounted to collusion.

The former press secretary for President George W. Bush suggested it was hypocritical for the media to coordinate such a campaign, considering the blowback Sinclair Broadcasting Group received for forcing stations to run specific segments and commentary.

The president also misrepresented the sale prices for the Globe. The newspaper was sold to The New York Times Company for $1.1 billion in 1993, and John Henry purchased it in 2013 for $70 million.

In a subsequent tweet, the president said "there is nothing I would want more for our Country than true freedom of the press," before claiming that the media often pushes a political agenda or is "trying to hurt people."

Marjorie Pritchard, the deputy managing editor of the Globe who oversees the paper’s editorial page, first called on newspapers earlier this month to publish editorials pushing back against the president's rhetoric toward the media, which she dubbed a "dirty war."

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More than 300 news organizations pledged to join the effort, The Associated Press reported, with papers like the Globe, The New York Times, New York Post, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, San Jose Mercury News and Idaho Statesman publishing editorials on Thursday to condemn the president.

“To label the press ‘the enemy of the people’ is as un-American as it is dangerous to the civic compact we have shared for more than two centuries," the Globe wrote in its editorial.

"Insisting that truths you don’t like are ‘fake news’ is dangerous to the lifeblood of democracy. And calling journalists the ‘enemy of the people’ is dangerous, period," The New York Times editorial board wrote.

The president has ratcheted up his attacks on the press in recent weeks, declaring on Twitter that the media is “unpatriotic,” and “can also cause war.”

The attacks on the media have been well-received by Trump's base, and he may seen taking on the newspapers as good politics. At rallies held by the president, crowds have been known to break into "CNN sucks" chants.

Some saw the mass editorial-writing effort by newspapers as a move that could backfire by allowing the president and his supporters to argue that the anti-Trump messages were reflective of a bias against the president in the news media.

Earlier Thursday, Trump dismissed the press as "the opposition party," but said he's winning the media's fight against him.

Trump's use of the term "opposition party" echoes a label for the media frequently deployed by his former chief strategist, Stephen Bannon.

Trump has had a fraught relationship with the media since he first declared his candidacy in 2015. He often derides negative coverage as "fake news" and more recently has taken to labeling reporters as the "enemy of the people."

Trump has continued to use the latter attack even after a gunman killed five people at a Maryland newspaper office in June.

The White House has on multiple occasions maintained the administration is committed to a "free press."

—Updated at 12:06 p.m.