Trump rips New York Times: 'They're like lunatics'

Trump rips New York Times: 'They're like lunatics'
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpREAD: Transcript of James Comey's interview with House Republicans Klobuchar on 2020: ‘I do think you want voices from the Midwest’ Israel boycott fight roils Democrats in year-end spending debate MORE on Wednesday complained that much of the press won't give him positive coverage, singling out The New York Times as "lunatics."

Trump told "Fox & Friends" host Ainsley Earhardt that "80 percent" of the media is fake news, and as a result is the "enemy of the people," an insult he frequently lobs at journalists.

"If I do something well, it’s not reported. Other than in the 20 percent," Trump said in an interview that will air Thursday.

"I mean, The New York Times cannot write a good story about me," he continued. "They’re crazed. They’re like lunatics."

Trump has had a long-strained relationship with the press since he hit the campaign trail in 2015. He often derides negative coverage as "fake news," and singles out organizations including the Times, CNN, NBC News and The Washington Post.

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He has had a particularly fraught relationship with the Times, attacking reporter Maggie Haberman and others on Twitter for their reporting on his administration.

Trump met with A.G. Sulzberger, the publisher of the Times, at the White House last month. While the meeting was planned to be off-the-record, Trump broke the agreement when he tweeted about it.

"Spent much time talking about the vast amounts of Fake News being put out by the media & how that Fake News has morphed into phrase, 'Enemy of the People.' Sad!" he tweeted.

Sulzberger disputed Trump's account, saying he spent the meeting warning the president about his escalating rhetoric toward journalists. He took particular issue with Trump's use of the phrase "enemy of the people," which he has deployed more frequently in recent months.

"I warned that this inflammatory language is contributing to a rise in threats against journalists and will lead to violence," Sulzberger said.

"I warned that it was putting lives at risk, that it was undermining the democratic ideals of our nation, and that it was eroding one of our country’s greatest exports: a commitment to free speech and a free press," he added.

Trump's attacks on the media have been well-received by his base. The president often encourages his supporters to jeer journalists at campaign rallies, and attendees periodically break into chants of "CNN sucks."

The president's attacks may be having an impact on public trust in media. A recent Quinnipiac poll showed a majority of Republicans agree that the media is the "enemy of the people."