Inhofe tells military crowd: 'Don't trust the media'

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman James InhofeJames (Jim) Mountain InhofeOvernight Defense: Erdoğan gets earful from GOP senators | Amazon to challenge Pentagon cloud contract decision in court | Lawmakers under pressure to pass benefits fix for military families GOP senators balk at lengthy impeachment trial Lawmakers under pressure to pass benefits fix for military families MORE (R-Okla.) told a military audience this week not to trust the media.

“If there's one group that knows this and doesn't have to be told, it's you, and that is, don't trust the media,” Inhofe said Thursday during a speech at the National Defense University that was billed as his first public address since becoming committee chairman in September.

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The speech was largely focused on his priorities for the committee next year and taking public his argument to President TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP divided over impeachment trial strategy Official testifies that Bolton had 'one-on-one meeting' with Trump over Ukraine aid Louisiana governor wins re-election MORE on increasing the defense budget.

But Inhofe also warned the crowd of uniformed military officers, officers from allied countries and other officials about media coverage of the defense budget.

“The general public, a lot of the media is making them believe that we don’t have any threats out there and a lot of this is a waste of money,” he said.

While Inhofe’s comments about the media echo criticism of the media from Trump, the senator did acknowledge Trump’s tweets make him uncomfortable.

Still, Inhofe said he doesn’t blame Trump for trying to bypass a media that “hates him.”

“I have to admit — confession’s good for the soul — every time I hear that a tweet is coming out, I cringe a little,” Inhofe said. “But, wouldn’t it be kind of nice if he had someone to bounce those off, changing the wording maybe a little bit? But how else can he circumvent a media that hates him?”

Inhofe also told the crowd that “probably some of you in this room are among those who hate Trump.”

“That’s alright, but you need to recognize what this guy has done,” he added, before ticking off a list of accomplishments he said they should consider, including increases to the defense budget and the confirmation of judges.