President Donald J. Trump took a detour from a speech promising his support to servicemembers to step up his attacks on the media, accusing the “very, very dishonest press” of failing to report terror attacks.
“Radical Islamic terrorists are determined to strike our homeland as they did on 9/11, as they did from Boston, Orlando to San Bernardino and all across Europe,” he said.
“You’ve seen what happened in Paris and Nice. All over Europe it’s happening. It’s gotten to a point where it’s not even being reported. And in many cases, the very, very dishonest press doesn’t want to report it. They have their reasons and you understand that,” he said.
He did not explain what he believed the reasons were.
Trump was speaking to servicemembers at MacDill Air Force Base in the Tampa, Fla., area.
He has attacked the media in the past, including salvos on Twitter as recently as Monday morning against polling, the media, and specifically the New York Times.
He said the Times “writes total fiction concerning me.”
A Times story published Monday said Trump and his staff were rethinking their approach after early stumbles. Based on interviews with dozens of officials, former officials, and other observers, the story described a president who has been frustrated by the backlash against his proposals. It also conjured images of a solitary Trump watching TV in his bathrobe at night and sometimes setting out to “explore the unfamiliar surroundings of his new home.”
Trump’s MacDill speech also trod more familiar territory. “Our administration will always honor our sacred bond to those who serve,” he told the crowd. “We will never, ever forget you.”
Martin Finucane can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.