President Donald Trump had the Phoenix faithful whipped up into a frenzy Tuesday night when he launched into a bruising anti-media rant.
“These are truly dishonest people,” the president led in. “Not all of them, you have some very good reporters, you have some very fair journalists. But for the most part, honestly, these are really, really dishonest people. And they're bad people. And I really think they don't like our country. I really believe that.”
The Arizona crowd cheered in approval. But the president didn't stop there.
“And I don't believe they're going to change,” Trump added. “And that's why I do this. If they would change, I would never say it.”
“The only people,” he continued, “giving a platform to these hate groups is the media itself and the fake news.”
The audience once again roared in agreement. The president may be referring to media interviews of white supremacists in the aftermath of the Charlottesville, Virginia rioting.
“Oh that's so funny,” the president said, teasing the news reporters. “The live red lights, they're turning those suckers off fast, I'll tell you. They're turning those lights off fast.”
“Like CNN,” he said, singling out the cable news company. “CNN does not want its falling viewership to watch what I'm saying tonight.”
Of course, not everyone was thrilled with the president once again taking the news network to task on the air. (And it does not appear that CNN cut coverage.)
A public relations professional opined shortly after the president's anti-CNN rant that he was “stepping in some very dangerous territory”:
Then CNN host Brian Seltzer tweeted back in agreement, “yes he is.”
Trump continued his anti-media tirade further, while making the argument that he would not be president if it were not for social media.