Sunday, February 19, 2017

Trump's defense chief says he has no problems with the press

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis distanced himself from President Donald Trump's assessment of the media as "the enemy of the American people", saying during his first trip to the Middle East that he had no problems with the press.


Mr Mattis, a retired Marine general seen as one of the most influential voices in Mr Trump's cabinet, did not mention his boss by name. But asked about Mr Trump's tweet on Friday that branded the media as America's enemy, Mr Mattis took a different position entirely.

"I've had some rather contentious times with the press. But no, the press, as far as I'm concerned, are a constituency that we deal with," he told reporters travelling with him in the United Arab Emirates.

"And I don't have any issues with the press, myself," Mr Mattis added.

Since his 20 January inauguration, Mr Trump has fiercely criticised various news outlets that have reported unflattering revelations of dysfunction or other problems in the White House.

He has described them as "lying", "corrupt" and "failing," and late on Friday he said the news media was "the enemy of the American people".
 [rte.ie]
19/2/17
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