On Thursday morning Ivanka Trump took a break from doing whatever she does in the White House to tell Axios that the administration tearing migrant children from their families “was a low point for me as well” ( though it doesn’t appear she did much to stop it). She also inadvertently set off a new skirmish in her father’s war with the media when she laughingly rejected his label for the press. “No, I do not,” she said, when asks if she feels the media is “the enemy of the people.”
Later White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders gave the answer Trump would have liked to hear when she resisted efforts by CNN’s Jim Acosta to make her reject the term “enemy of the people.” Instead, she accused the press of lowering the level of discourse in the country, and listed all the ways she feels personally wronged by the media.
Trump spun his daughter’s anti-authoritarian flub himself, claiming she was alluding to the small percentage of the media that isn’t the “enemy of the people.”
But how can one tell who’s FAKE NEWS and who isn’t? Trump tried to clarify during a rally on Thursday night in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Ostensibly, he was there to drum up support for Representative Lou Barletta, who’s attempting to unseat Democratic Senator Bob Casey in the fall. But his remarks largely focused on his issues with the Washington press corps.
As the audience booed and jeered, breaking into a chant of “CNN sucks” at times, Trump listed all the ways the press had treated him unfairly. To name just a few, they failed to acknowledge that his meeting with Kim Jong-un put an end to North Korea’s nuclear testing (it didn’t), or to celebrate his good relationship with Vladimir Putin, though “Russia is very unhappy that Trump won” (both U.S. intelligence agencies and Putin himself say that’s not true).
“They can make anything bad because they are the fake, fake disgusting news,” the president said.
Later, Trump named two conservative pundits who definitely aren’t enemies of the people — in fact, they’re so not fake news that they’ve been elevated to the position of unofficial Trump adviser.
Senate Republicans have been making moves this week to avoid a government shutdown when funding runs out on September 30, right before the midterms. But Trump has been calling for a shutdown before the election, threatening to use the maneuver to secure funding for his border wall and various other immigration policies (which don’t have anything to do with appropriations).
Trump told the crowd in Pennsylvania that some of his Republican “friends” (probably GOP lawmakers) are advising him to save his shutdown for after the midterms — but he has the backing of two higher authorities.
“You know who thinks it should [be] before?” Trump said. “Rush Limbaugh thinks it should be before. Before the election. You know who else? Sean Hannity.” The right-wing media personalities got a huge cheer from the audience, and Trump said they’re “great people.”
“We are going to start to get very nasty over the wall,” Trump said, briefly bringing things back to the Pennsylvania Senate race. While Senator Bob Casey and the rest of the Democrats might want MS-13 “animals” in the country, Trump knows better. “These are the slicers, they slice people up,” he said, acting out a grisly stabbing.
Afterward on Fox News, Jeanine Pirro proved she’s not “fake news” by gushing over Trump’s performance, which she described as “positive” and “funny.”