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Sunday, January 20, 2019

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters.

 

President Donald Trump urged Congress to begin investigations into the U.S. media, which he baselessly claimed was fabricating stories in order to damage his presidency, in a Thursday morning tweet with authoritarian overtones.

“Why Isn’t the Senate Intel Committee looking into the Fake News Networks in OUR country to see why so much of our news is just made up-FAKE!,” the president tweeted just before 7 a.m. EST.

Trump’s tweet came the morning after the bipartisan leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee — which has been investigating what U.S. intelligence agencies have determined was a Russian propaganda effort aimed at disrupting the 2016 presidential election in Trump’s favor –confirmed those conclusions and warned that the Kremlin’s effort to influence U.S. elections is ongoing. At a news conference detailing the progress of their investigation, Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), the committee’s chairman, said that the issue of whether Trump’s associates had colluded with Russia “is still open.”

Trump has long been defensive about the question of whether Russia aided his election, and has termed the special counsel’s investigation into whether his associates participated in that effort a “witch hunt.” And his constant attempts to undermine and delegitimize the press are one of the rare throughlines in his chaotic administration. Critics have noted that this effort parallels those made by authoritarian leaders.

In this case, Trump was criticizing NBC News’ report yesterday that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had been “on the verge of resigning this past summer” and had referred to the president as a “moron” following a Pentagon meeting with senior officials. After the report’s publication, Tillerson denied that he had considered leaving the administration and praised the president as “smart,” but did not directly deny that he had called Trump a “moron.” A spokesperson later denied that claim on his behalf.

“Rex Tillerson never threatened to resign,” Trump tweeted roughly an hour after his initial tweet this morning. “This is Fake News put out by @NBCNews. Low news and reporting standards. No verification from me.”

It seems unlikely that the Senate Intelligence Committee, whose Russia investigation appears driven by a spirit of bipartisanship and professionalism, will take up Trump’s challenge. But it is certainly not out of the question that some congressional committee will do so.

Just yesterday, Politico reported that Trump loyalists, including some members of the House Republican caucus, are “losing patience” with the congressional Russia probes, preferring instead that investigators “probe more deeply into issues that could harm Democrats.”

Spurred on by right-wing media, Republicans frequently wielded their committees as partisan cudgels in this manner during President Barack Obama’s administration. Notably, House Republicans voted to assemble a select committee to investigate the 2012 attacks on U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi after several other House and Senate committees had already reviewed those events. Several Republicans, including House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, subsequently acknowledged that the panel’s purpose was to damage the political standing of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

According to Politico, Trump’s supporters would like congressional investigators to focus on Clinton, a figure hated by the conservative movement for decades. But don’t be surprised if, with a shove from Trump’s twitter feed, they begin calling for investigations into that movement’s other leading enemy, the press.

UPDATE: 

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders had several opportunities at today’s press briefing to walk back the president’s tweet, but repeatedly declined to do so, instead continuing the administration’s attack on news outlets.

First, Sanders was asked if there’s concern in the White House about the way Trump refers to stories he considers inaccurate as “fake news,” conflating the term with deliberately false stories, and whether she draws a distinction between the two. She said that the president is concerned with “inaccurate information that’s being presented as factual” and “opinions that are being presented as news,” saying that problem “should be looked at.” She declined to draw such a distinction between incorrect and deliberately false reports:

Asked a second time about the president’s tweet and whether he values the First Amendment, she responded that he does but that “with those freedoms also come responsibilities and you have a responsibility to tell the truth.” She then declined to directly address a question about whether she thinks Congress should investigate news outlets:

Header image by Sarah Wasko / Media Matters

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31 responses to “Authoritarian Watch: Trump Calls For Congressional Investigation Into U.S. News Outlets”

  1. Dominick Vila says:

    How about investigating the lies, distortions, stupid comments, and hyperbole that come out of our fake President’s mouth on a daily basis? How about investigating insinuations such as the one that Trump made yesterday to control the news cycle he cynically attacks? The calm before the storm? Why doesn’t he stand up like a man and say what he has in mind? Is he planning to fire Tillerson, Mueller, or both? Is he planning to order a military strike against North Korea, or just decertify the Iran nuclear deal as part of his vendetta against President Obama?

    • FireBaron says:

      Oh, Dom, you know they could not possibly do that. After all, that would show “disloyalty” to our “Glorious Leader”! Besides, as soon as one of those spineless wonders found the backbone to actually begin such an investigation, Teflon Donnie would threaten to run a primary opponent against him, and offer his willingness to spend Other Peoples’ Money to unseat said disloyal individual.

      • Dominick Vila says:

        One of the most unfortunate parts of all this is the fact that honorable people like Mattis, McMaster, Kelly, and Tillerson continue to support Trump’s agenda. I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and assume that the reason they remain in the Trump team is to moderate it, and prevent a global catastrophe.

        • Sand_Cat says:

          Is Tillerson “honorable,” now? I guess “honorable” is on the way to becoming another meaningless word like “liberty” and “freedom,” and a host of others.
          I believe Tillerson as CEO of EXXon-Mobile was full speed ahead in spending record amounts to spread anti-science climate propaganda that he knew to be false. No doubt his “support” for the Paris Accord is based on the fact that it actually requires NOTHING of those who join, while those who quit look bad.
          Is there any person at all in the Trump administration that could be called honorable under the old and apparently obsolete definition?

          • No one in this vermin-infested Administration should be mistaken as honorable. Or like you say, the definition is now obsolete.

          • Dominick Vila says:

            Tillerson lost all credibility when he delivered his pathetic speech endorsing Trump’s agenda, and pledging support. Again, I give some of them the benefit of the doubt and assume that the reason they remain in the septic tank they are in is to try to moderate a man that is clearly out of control, and very dangerous.

    • sharkbait4711 says:

      LOCK HIM UP!!!
      LOCK HIM UP!!!
      LOCK HIM UP!!!
      Prison or psych ward I don’t care – just – LOCK HIM UP!!!

  2. Budjob says:

    The Fascist/NAZI Bastard just NEVER quits!

    • dpaano says:

      Yes, it’s very stressful for many of us to see the damage Trump and his cronies are doing to our democracy! They are determined to do away with all the protections put in place by previous administrations. They don’t care about the consequences of their damaging actions!

      • ivory69690@yahoo.com says:

        DUMPSTER DONNY & the gang of pinheads = GOP sad as it is only seek to see what the American people have and how the can make it less & worse for all

  3. dpaano says:

    It’s sad that when a news story is against Trump…it’s false, but if it’s in his favor, it is the truth. Why don’t they investigate all the B’S from FAUX News or Breitbart?

  4. Mama Bear says:

    True to his form…..watch the news for something pretty revealing about him or his family or his cohorts at the afternoon news drop.

  5. latebloomingrandma says:

    Trump never learned the difference between right and wrong, fact or opinion, truth or lie. Everyone should read the most recent “Newsweek” article written by several psychiatrists discussing Trumps’ mental condition. They have called him the most dangerous man in the world. I only hope the generals are staying in office to try to prevent a catastrophe until Mueller can present his air tight case. God help America.

  6. sharkbait4711 says:

    So if Congress investigates the news – wouldn’t this include the orange apes new news station? Which we ALL KNOW IS NOTHING BUT FAKE NEWS!!!

  7. The case for Trump to be admitted to a mental asylum gets stronger each day. But the way American partisan politics is designed with all its perverse features, there won’t be consensus on removing him because politicians are conditioned to regard their political viability first and foremost.
    So, it becomes more persuasive to dismantle the system and rebuild from scratch, using a model based on democratic ideals w/o the division presented by default by a multiple-party apparatus.
    There is precedent for such a framework—It’s called The Baha’i Administrave Order—that might serve as a model and a starting point.

  8. The lucky one says:

    “with those freedoms also come responsibilities and you have a responsibility to tell the truth.” Yes, and when is Trump going to start honoring that responsibility. In a profession, politics, known for its mendacity Trump stands out as its most prolific and shameless liar.

  9. ivory69690@yahoo.com says:

    think of just when it was in play the 2005 ex-Hollywood tape day not even days of the Russia hacking BULL just a throw off distraction joker card . and it worked . during all his planed BULLSHIfT he all the time sent people this way and that way confusing every one with so much BULL to the point it was the people that didn’t know if their thinking was coming or going . me I say come on people cereal are you all really that frosted flaked ? what the whole plan from the start I say again was is and will be to do what he dose best and all his evil life FRAUD ,CON,SCAM & SCREW every one he can . he BULLED enough brain dead clown to vote him into the white house .. as it is the greedy butt hole has already made money from being in the white house illegally ///

  10. ivory69690@yahoo.com says:

    DUMP 45 PLANS ARE TO MAKE SO MUCH MONEY FROM THE WHITE HOUSE all illegally (the only why he knows how his best way ) this isn’t counting all the shady deals he has already in play and the ones he has in his big planed BULLSHIfT ACT . he is only fooling the easy to fool people .. his plan is to steal fraud con and scam as much money as he can until he is stopped . no matter when it is he is stopped every day till then he will be making money some how some way

  11. ivory69690@yahoo.com says:

    /// for Doctors and shrinks that have to figure him out are going (he hopes )to judge him on the clown ACT HE IS PLAYING for the world (ALL ACTING ) one can hope the doctors can see through his clown show and use common sense to get his real acting picture . he has already set in play that joker card in his game saying he may have ‘Psychological Problem’ its all in his acting game play only MORONS like he is will be fooled .. so easy to read the DUMP 45 CLOWN . he knows where he stands all the time how close Mueller is getting to him . he knows it will all chit hitting the fan is coming soon

  12. ivory69690@yahoo.com says:

    I myself been followers the politics of all this for some time now . pretty much back to the DIRTY BUSH & CHEEZY CHAINEY times when that pair swinging from the back of a bull bury the country . to Obama digging the country out of the grave the DIRTY BUSH bury us in . through the knocking off the number 1 evil dirt bag at the time BENNY LARDASS . also with all the BULLSHIfTING the gang of pinheads =GOT did on and too Hillary ( and the GOP had planed and pulled their crap on her for years thy started early years ago thy knew that she was going to run for the house again .dosent anyone find it funny that at the time of all the bulk and high news on Hillary that it all just stopped when THE DONNY DUMP CLOWN SHOW stole the white house . not a thing about it or her . but at the time the gang of pinheads were calling for all kinds of things even as far as locking her up bull crap . after DUMP 45 hit the house not a word . INTERESTING WOULDNT ONE THINK ? by right a lot of the gang of pinheads should been and should be today locked up .. the $$$ millions spent out on all that email bull crap &1000’s of man hours for what at the end ? NOTHING NOT A THING money spent as only the gang of pinheads can spend it WASTED BIG TIME $$ MONEY & TIME

  13. ivory69690@yahoo.com says:

    and with all the wasted afford thy put into Hillary and his email servers and all now with DUMPSTER DONNY’S CULT KLAN his brain washed rotten living seeds thy are into their private servers and emails going on now seems to the gang of pinheads its enough to just address this with well boys and girls will be boys and girls SUCK A JOKE FOR THEGOVERNMENT OF THE USA to the GOP a greedy scum bag clown like DUMP 45 & his rotten seed children feel that money and time is not worth wasting on them . are thy afraid thy might find a lot ??????/ No Doubt About It ! .//// as for my post and what I think and feel ist just off the top of my head at all . I have done and still do a lot of research of every thing I post . so it not me just coming up and out with things because of anything else .its just the facts as ive researched them . common sense with researched facts I am able to read people (and DUMP 45 CLOWNS ALSO ) pretty good . then the DUMPSTER DONNY is an easy MORON to read

  14. ivory69690@yahoo.com says:

    all should know from the start the DUMPSTER DONNY has been planning this whole thing for years now . it has been in his pee for brains mind for a long time . the truth is the DUMPSTER DONNY clown didn’t even think he could be president . again deep in his empty head with his pee for brains mind his EGO always made him keep going . then the DUMP 45 got a brain dead audience that just loved THE FREE DONNY DUNP CLOWN SHOW / id say little did thy know but thy are brain dead so really what would thy know ? but still little did anyone know his win WAS , IS and WILL BE THE COUNTRY & THE WORLDS LOSS !

  15. ivory69690@yahoo.com says:

    the DUMP45 planed long and hard GREED DROVE HIM AND HIS OVER INFLATTED EGO but it was all planed with Russia and DUMP 45 B/F PUTTHEAD . still to this day PUTTHEAD has something very big holding over DUMP 45 pee for brains head (VERY BIG ) me seeing the DUMP 45 CLOWN as I have I believe its something in the frame work of him having videos or the PERV. DUMP 45 molesting children . from the time the clown was over in Russia it is and I believe it has to be something in that form for sure . he played on the brain dead to get him in the house and the brain dead thing worked . all the time PUTTHEAD only hoped and did all he could to get DUMP 45 into the white knowing he had the DUMP TRUMP card and is still waiting today to play it . im thinking now that the chit will hit the fan with DUMPSTER DONNY by maybe Mueller’s hand and when its all done DUMPSTER DONNY will be snaking out and moving to Russia at that time greedy DUMPSTER DONNY will have stolen enough money from the USA and the world . some how some way

  16. ivory69690@yahoo.com says:

    . and then im thinking that his Russian B/F PUTTHEAD being just as greedy as DUMPSTER DONNY is will work it so when DUMP 45 dodges (what he dose so well) the laws of the USA and is living in the KGB mind of his Russian B/FPUTTHEAD news will be special report from Russia DUMPSTER DONNY has died (some how some way ) and then breaking news its unknown where it is but DUMPSTER DONNYS brain washed kids cant seems to find or know where all his money DUMP 45 had went . would that surprise anyone ? FITTING ENDING FOR THE DUIMPSTER CLOWN all his life he used , fraud, con, scammed and stole money at the end it all came back and didn’t just bite the SCUM BAG BETTER IT KILLED HIM that the big party day for the world the day he is dead ./// all the DUMP 45 got from the BRAIN DEAD DUMP 45 FOLLOWERS he used you all and got what he wanted and not even a thank you for you all giving the CLOWN THE WHITE HOUSE feel used and abused ? you should you were . hew did doing and will keep doing until the worlds happiest day of all time the day he is dead . but people for the time being till the happy day of all the DUMPSTER DONNY will be setting up smoke screen after smoke screen confusing every one as much as he can . me myself I do hope Mueller isn’t able to stop and hold the DUMP 45 and he escape’s and makes it to Russia . then it will be the world party day coming soon after that the end of the DUMPSTER DON CLOWN

  17. ivory69690@yahoo.com says:

    the latest news is its being said its too bad the WHITE HOUSE has become a adult day-care center and being run by the DUMPSTER DONNY MORON CLOWN funny thing the DUMP 45 says this last sexual assaulter he says it dosent surprise me DUMP 45 says .Harvey Weinstein’s harassment was an open secret in Hollywood. He’s far from alone . no not alone DUMPSTER DONNY he is ONE OF YOU !! one can bet he was one tweet away from bragging that him being the KING of sexual assault and abuse of women that he made it to the white hoses and every one knew about him (and as he would tweeted KNEW ABOUT ME ) then im sure his next tweet would be (OR SHOULD BE ) THANK GOD FOR ALL THE BRAIN DEAD FOLLOWERS OF MINE couldn’t have made it here with out you BELIEVE ME THANK YOU FOLLOWING FOOLSSSS butt hole DUMPSTER DONNY what aboult your promise that right away you was going to sue those 12 women that ratted out your sad perv. ways . just another one of your pathological lies (can never have enough of them can you ? head to toe BUTT HOLE CLOWN

  18. ivory69690@yahoo.com says:

    with this being in the United States Constitution >Separation of church and state” is paraphrased from Thomas Jefferson and used by others in expressing an understanding of the intent and function of the Establishment Clause and Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States which reads: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”

    The phrase “separation between church & state” is generally traced to a January 1, 1802 letter by Thomas Jefferson, addressed to the Danbury Baptist Association in Connecticut, and published in a Massachusetts newspaper. Jefferson wrote,“”I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.”[1]. dose this mean that ones that don’t want to give Americans the birth control pills are breaking the law ? for their reason for not letting one have or use the birth control pill is a church and a faith thing . so with that one would think thy cant denied by the laws and rights given to America lay down in the United States Constitution thy would be breaking the law . im I missing some thing here ?

  19. ivory69690@yahoo.com says:

    all should know from the start just from the history of the DUMPSTER DONNY . has been planning this whole thing for years now . it has been in his pee for brains mind for a long time . the truth is the DUMPSTER DONNY clown didn’t even think he could be president . again deep in his empty head with his pee for brains mind his EGO always made him keep going . then the DUMP 45 got a brain dead audience that just loved THE FREE DONNY DUNP CLOWN SHOW / id say little did thy know but thy are brain dead so really what would thy know ? but still little did anyone know his win WAS , IS and WILL BE THE COUNTRY & THE WORLDS LOSS ! and DUMPSTER DONNY is not done yet .still alot he wants to destroy . thats just how the POS- AZZ-HOLE loves to roll

  20. ivory69690@yahoo.com says:

    President Donald Trump urged Congress to begin investigations into the U.S. media, which he baselessly claimed was fabricating stories in order to damage his presidency, in a Thursday morning tweet with authoritarian overtones. “Why Isn’t the Senate Intel Committee looking into the Fake News Networks in OUR country to see why so much of our news is just made up-FAKE!,” the president tweeted just before 7 a.m. EST.//// well DUMPSTER GONNY reason why thy are not is simple (though you would get it ) for most to pretty much all the fake & B/S news is coming from you DUMP 45 between you your CULT ,KLAN & STAFF that’s where it mostly is . and with that if one ask you anything chances you being the pathological liar you are you would and will say its not coming from my side then the ending as always of you joke (BELIEVE ME ) << THE BIGGEST LIAR ON THE EARTH

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