Despite the chaos and turmoil of President Trump’s first several weeks in office, he argued Thursday that the White House is “running like a fine-tuned machine.”
The Daily Mail pointed out that just days earlier, Trump was forced to ask for the resignation of National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who had phone conversations with the Russian ambassador to the United States while Barack Obama was still president. According to U.S. intelligence officers who monitored the calls, Flynn suggested that the Trump administration would rescind Obama’s economic sanctions on Russia. Flynn got himself in more hot water by misleading Vice President Mike Pence and other officials about the phone calls.
Trump claims the news media are unfair in their coverage of his administration. Continuing to accuse reporters of being “dishonest” and issuing “fake news,” the president proclaimed Thursday that he is “changing it from ‘fake news’ (to) ‘very fake news.’” He also has denied the validity of national polls that indicate his approval rating is lower than that of any previous president in their first month.
“I turn on the TV, open the newspapers, and I see stories of chaos, chaos, yet it is the exact opposite,” Trump told reporters. “Much of the media in Washington, D.C., along with New York and Los Angeles, speaks not for the people, but for the special interests. … I mean, I watch CNN. It’s so much anger and hatred, and just – the hatred! I mean, I don't watch it anymore.” Looking directly at CNN reporter Jim Acosta, the president added: “You have a lower approval rating than Congress. I think that's right.”
Acosta responded: “We don't hate you. Just passing that along.” Trump then mused about whether to allow the reporter to ask a follow-up question, considering that “your ratings aren’t as good as some of the other people waiting.”
The president also slammed CNN host Don Lemon. “You just take a look at that show,” he said. “That is a constant hit. The panel is always almost exclusive anti-Trump. The good news is (that Lemon) doesn’t have good ratings.”