National Security Adviser John Bolton dodged questions from Fox News’ Chris Wallace on Sunday about President Donald Trump’s tweet earlier claiming the media is “dangerous & sick” and “can cause War.”
“What wars have we started?” Wallace asked Bolton on “Fox News Sunday.”
Bolton failed to answer that question directly and attempted to redirect the conversation, saying that “the issue of press bias has been around for a long, long time.”
″There is press bias,” Wallace interrupted. “People get stories wrong, and people are called out for it. And we should be called out if we make a mistake.”
But then, citing the language in Trump’s Sunday tweet, he said, ”‘Cause war,’ ’sick,’ ‘divisive’ ― this is taking it to a completely different level.”
But Bolton continued to defend Trump’s repeated attacks on the media and journalists, whom the president has frequently labeled “the enemy of the people” and has accused of publishing “fake news.”
“That’s the president’s view based on the attacks that the media made on him,” Bolton said. “There have been other administrations that have been highly critical of the press.”
“I think this kind of adversarial relationship is typical,” he added.
Trump on Sunday ramped up his attacks against the media in a flurry of tweets, including one in which he publicly acknowledged for the first time that his son Donald Trump Jr. met with Russians during the 2016 election to gather dirt on his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton.
Trump’s anti-media rhetoric has drawn concern from lawmakers and journalists in newsrooms nationwide. The New York Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger told Trump during a meeting last month that the outlet had placed armed security guards outside their offices in response to an increase in threats against reporters.
A deadly attack against reporters at the Capitol Gazette newsroom in Maryland in June did nothing to quell Trump’s belligerent accusations against the media. Since the shooting, which left five people dead, Trump has used Twitter to attack news outlets, reporters and the media generally over 25 times.
The White House has largely stood by Trump’s anti-media stance. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders refused to say the press is not “the enemy of the people” during a briefing for reporters on Thursday. Senior White House adviser Ivanka Trump, daughter of the president, said earlier that day that she did not believe that assessment of the media to be true.
Trump tweeted later that he believed his daughter’s statement was correct because the entire media is not “the enemy of the people” ― but a “large percentage” is.
“I think some journalists are enemy of the relevant and enemy of the news you can use,” Conway told CBS’ “Face The Nation.”