One day before the midterm election, President Trump said “I would like to have a much softer tone.” One day after the election, he snapped at the White House press corps, called reporters “rude” for asking questions, and made baseless claims about political polling.
“Such a hostile media. It’s so sad,” he said, keeping up his years-long campaign against the people who cover him.
Trump’s most contentious exchange was with Jim Acosta, CNN’s chief White House correspondent. Afterward, CNN said in a statement, “This President’s ongoing attacks on the press have gone too far. They are not only dangerous, they are disturbingly un-American.”
“While President Trump has made it clear he does not respect a free press, he has a sworn obligation to protect it,” CNN added. “A free press is vital to democracy, and we stand behind Jim Acosta and his fellow journalists everywhere.”
The press conference was shown live on CNN and all the other cable news channels and broadcast networks.
Media critics and Democrats said Trump’s combative streak telling reporters to “sit down” and insulting some of them might be part of a strategy to deflect attention from Democratic victories in the midterms.