Trump: My media attacks make supporters ‘like me more’

Trump: My media attacks make supporters ‘like me more’

At a rally in Fort Meyers, Fla.., on Wednesday night, President Donald Trump repeated his frequent claim that the media is "the enemy of the people." (Donald J. Trump/Twitter)

WASHINGTON— President Donald Trump believes that his ongoing attacks against the press endear him to his supporters.

“I have to fight back,” Trump said in a segment of an interview with Axios released Thursday but airing in full Sunday on HBO. “They like me more because of that.”

Trump continued his rhetoric against the press this week, just days after packages containing improvised explosive devices were sent to CNN with former officials from the Obama administration as their intended target.

The suspect, 56-year-old Aventura, Fla., resident Cesar Sayoc, had a long social media history painting him as a Trump supporter. He was arrested Friday on five federal charges.

On Monday, Trump renewed his claim on Twitter that the “fake news media” are the “True Enemy of the People.”

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders defended the president’s broadside later that day, claiming that the media was stoking tensions by allegedly linking the bomb scare and Saturday’s mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue to his rhetoric.

“The very first thing that the President did was condemn the attacks, both in Pittsburgh and in the pipe bombs,” Sanders said. “The very first thing the media did was blame the president and make him responsible for these ridiculous acts.”

Sanders said the president was zeroing in on “fake news” in particular, and not the media as a whole.

However, when pressed to name what outlets qualified as “fake news,” Sanders declined to elaborate.

On Wednesday night, Trump opened a rally in Fort Myers, Fla., by revisiting his attack.

“We have forcefully condemned hatred, racism, bigotry and prejudice in all of its forms, but the media doesn’t want you to hear your story,” Trump said. “That’s why 33 percent of the people in this country believe the fake news is in fact, and I hate to say this, in fact the enemy of the people.”

It’s unclear what poll Trump was referencing. In August, an Ipsos poll found that 29 percent of respondents cited the media as the enemy while a separate Quinnipiac poll placed that number at 26 percent.

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