Trump continues attacks on U.S. media, releases 'Fake News Awards'
Senators Flake and McCain criticize president's 'unrelenting attacks on the integrity of American journalists'
U.S. President Donald Trump revealed his promised "Fake News Awards" late Wednesday, continuing his assault on American media while claiming on Twitter that there is "lots of GOOD NEWS for the American people to be proud of!"
Trump's attacks on the media in response to critical stories about him have been a staple of his Twitter feed, and he recently said he would give out awards for "the most corrupt and dishonest" media.
Trump wrote on Twitter on Wednesday evening that his "FAKE NEWS winners" could be found on the Republican National Committee website. The link, which was broken for much of the evening, listed 10 stories by news outlets, giving top spot to a New York Times column by economist Paul Krugman written shortly after Trump's victory that predicted the economy would never recover.
ABC, CNN, the Washington Post and Newsweek also made the list.
Russia collusion a 'hoax'
An 11th item was coverage of "RUSSIA COLLUSION!" that Trump called a "hoax." In a second Twitter post, Trump said there were also "many great reporters I respect."
"ISIS is in retreat, our economy is booming, investments and jobs are pouring back into the country, and so much more!" Trump tweeted. "Together there is nothing we can't overcome--even a very biased media. We ARE Making America Great Again!"
Two Republican senators criticized Trump earlier Wednesday for his attacks on the media.
"Trump continues his unrelenting attacks on the integrity of American journalists and news outlets," Arizona Senator John McCain wrote in an opinion piece in the Washington Post. "This has provided cover for repressive regimes to follow suit."
'A grave threat'
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte have both used "fake news" as a response to criticism since Trump popularized the phrase.
The other Arizona senator, Jeff Flake, rebuked Trump from the Senate floor. "To call the Russia matter a 'hoax' ... is a falsehood," Flake said.
"We know that the attacks orchestrated by the Russian government during the election were real and constitute a grave
threat," he said. "It is in the interest of every American to get to the bottom of this matter."
With files from Reuters