At 2017's CPAC gathering, President Trump slammed the news media for printing stories based on anonymous sources
"I want you all to know that we are fighting the fake news. It’s fake, phony, fake," Trump said at CPAC on Friday. "A few days ago, I called the fake news 'the enemy of the people,' and they are. They are the enemy of the people. Because they have no sources. They just make them up when there are none."
PRESIDENT TRUMP: The media didn't think we would win. The pundits — you're right — they had an idea. The pundits didn’t think we'd win. The consultants that suck up all that money — oh, they suck it up — they're so good. They're not good at politics, but they're really good at sucking up people's money. Especially my opponents’, because I kept them down to a minimum. But the consultants didn't think we would win. But they all underestimated the power of the people, you, and the people proved them totally wrong. This is so true, and this is what's been happening. Never underestimate the people. Never. I don't think it will ever happen again.
And I want you all to know we are fighting the fake news. It's fake. Phony. Fake. A few days ago I called the fake news the enemy of the people, and they are. They are the enemy of the people. Because they have no sources, they just make them up when there are none. I saw one story recently where they said nine people have confirmed. There are no nine people. I don't believe there was one or two people. Nine people. And I said give me a brea,k because I know the people. I know who they talked to. There were no nine people. But they say nine people. And somebody reads it and they say, oh, nine people, they have nine sources. They make up sources.
They're very dishonest people. In fact, in covering my comments, the dishonest media did not explain that I called the fake news the enemy of the people — the fake news. They dropped off the word “fake”. And all of a sudden the story became the media is the enemy. They take the word “fake” out. And now I'm saying, oh, no, this is no good. But that's the way they are. So I'm not against the media, I'm not against the press. I don't mind bad stories if I deserve them, and I tell you, I love good stories, but we won't talk — I don't get too many of them. But I am only against the fake news media or press. Fake. Fake. They have to leave that word.
I'm against the people that make up stories and make up sources. They shouldn't be allowed to use sources unless they use somebody's name. Let their name be put out there. Let their name be put out. A source says that Donald Trump is a horrible, horrible human being — let them say it to my face. Let there be no more sources. And remember this, and not in all cases. I mean, I had a story yesterday written about me in Reuters by a very honorable man that was a very fair story. There are some great reporters around, they are talented and honest as the day is long; that is great. But there are some terrible, dishonest people that do a tremendous disservice to our country, and to our people.
They are very dishonest people, and they shouldn't use sources. They should put the name of the person. You will see stories dry up like you've never seen before. You have no idea how bad it is because if you are not part of the story — and I put myself in your position sometimes because many of you, you're not part of the story — and if you're not part of the story, you know, then you sort of know if you are part of the story, you know what they're saying is true or not.
So when they make it up and they make up something else, and you saw that before the election — polls, polls. They come out with some of these polls — and some of them got it right. I must say, Los Angeles Times, shocking, they did a great job. We had a couple of others that were right. Generally speaking, I can tell you the network. Somebody said, "A poll came out." I said what network is it?
And they'll say a certain — let's not even mention names, right? Shall we? Well, you have a lot of them. The Clinton News Network is one. Totally. Take a look, honestly. Take a look at their polls over the last two years. You'd think they'd fire the pollster, right? After years and years of getting battered. I mean, who knows, maybe they're just bad at polling. Or maybe they're not legit. But it's one or the other. Look at how inaccurate. Look at CBS, look at ABC also. Look at NBC.
Take a look at some of these polls. That were so bad, so inaccurate. And what that does is it creates a false narrative. It creates this narrative that it's just like we're not going to win. People say I love Trump but I'm not feeling great today. He can't win, so I won't go and vote. It creates a whole false deal, and we have to fight it, folks. We have to fight it. They're very smart, they're very cunning, and they're very dishonest.
So just to conclude, it's a very sensitive topic, and they get upset when we expose their false stories. They say that we can't criticize their dishonest coverage because of the First Amendment. They always bring the the First Amendment. I love the First Amendment. Nobody loves it better than me. Nobody — who uses it more than I do? But the First Amendment gives all of us — it gives it to me it gives it to you, it gives it to all Americans — the right to speak our minds freely. It gives you the right and me the right to criticize fake news and criticize it strongly.
And many of these groups are part of large media corporations that have their own agenda. And it's not your agenda and it's not the country's agenda, it's their own agenda. They have a professional obligation as members of the press to report honestly, but as you saw throughout the entire campaign and even now, the fake news doesn't tell the truth. Doesn't tell the truth. So just in finishing, I say it doesn't represent the people, it never will represent the people, and we're going to do something about it because we have to go out and we have to speak our minds and we have to be honest.