President Trump and his new administration have hit back hard at the corporate media campaign to delegitimize the office, with Trump himself declaring that the press is obsessed with painting him up as a racist, and chief strategist Stephen Bannon exclaiming that biased reporters need to ‘shut up and listen’.
In an interview with Hannity Thursday night, Trump addressed the issue of the media’s ongoing coordinated effort to delegitimize him, referring to the recent TIME report that falsely suggested he had removed a Martin Luther King bust from the Oval Office.
Trump described the incident as a “very serious charge” and that the focus was not on where the bust had been moved to, but “what they’re saying is that I’m a racist.”
Trump added that “when it was revealed that they were very wrong, nobody even talks about it.”
The President noted that he has “great respect for Dr. Martin Luther King.”
Hannity went on to ask Trump if he would consider changing the way his administration deals with the media in the face of such blatant attacks.
“Some of these networks were colluding with Hillary’s campaign to defeat you,” Hannity stated, adding “I’ve seen major newspapers to cable networks that use the word liar. And my question to you is, does that make you want to rethink entirely how this administration will deal with the media?”
The President responded by labeling media outlets that have attacked him as “liars,” then specifically referred to the spat over the size of the inauguration crowd.
“I had the largest audience,” Trump urged. “If you add the television, you add all the sources, the largest audience in the history of inaugurations. I did.”
“They’re very hostile. These are very hostile people. These are very angry people,” Trump noted.
Trump’s chief strategist Stephen Bannon further slammed the media during an interview with the New York Times, calling the press the true “opposition party.”
“I want you to quote this,” Bannon told the Times, “The media here is the opposition party. They don’t understand this country. They still do not understand why Donald Trump is the president of the United States.”
“The media has zero integrity, zero intelligence, and no hard work.” Bannon said, adding “You’re the opposition party. Not the Democratic Party. You’re the opposition party. The media’s the opposition party.”
“The media should be embarrassed and humiliated and keep its mouth shut and just listen for a while,” Mr. Bannon said Bannon also said that the New York Times in particular “should be absolutely ashamed and humiliated” for engaging in efforts to delegitimize the President.
“The elite media got it dead wrong, 100 percent dead wrong,” Bannon said of the election, calling it “a humiliating defeat that they will never wash away, that will always be there.”
“The mainstream media has not fired or terminated anyone associated with following our campaign,” Bannon continued, adding “Look at the Twitter feeds of those people: they were outright activists of the Clinton campaign. That’s why you have no power. You were humiliated.”
Elsewhere in the Hannity interview, Trump called Madonna “disgraceful” and “disgusting” after the singer threatened to “blow up the White House” at the women’s march last week.
“I think she hurt herself very badly. I think she hurt that whole cause.” Trump said.
Trump also commented on the “Saturday Night Live” writer, Katie Rich, saying his 10-year-old son Barron would be this country’s “first homeschool shooter.”
“Saturday Night Live, a person from Saturday Night Live was terrible,” Trump said. “I don’t mind some humor but it’s terrible. For them to attack, for NBC to attack my 10-year-old son, it’s a disgrace. He’s a great boy. And it’s not an easy thing for him. Believe me.”
“It’s a failing show,” he continued. “It’s not funny. Alec Baldwin’s a disaster. He’s terrible on the show.”
The full interview with Trump is below: