In a Friday night panel, Robert Reich battled Jeffrey Lord on “AC360” about President Donald Trump’s need to continuously attack the media.
Host Anderson Cooper asked Reich if Trump’s attacks were an attempt to distract from the Russia stories or if Trump is setting up the media to be reporting “fake news” if they prove a connection between Trump and Russia.
Reich said it was likely both.
“I think that’s exactly it, in undermining the credibility of the media that dislikes, or in Trump’s view, dislikes Trump or is criticizing Trump, and therefore, the president keeps on saying, ‘don’t pay attention to, don’t believe these media, they are propagating so-called fake news,'” Reich explained.
Reich also said that this is about Trump’s ego. “It is clear that this is a man who is hugely narcissistic and doesn’t like anybody and any news agency to be in any way critical of him, but he goes beyond that,” Reich said. “I think there’s some strategic basis for what he’s doing.”
Lord claimed that these attacks on the media are an American tradition from presidents, but Reich disagreed.
“With due respect, that is utterly ridiculous,” he said. “We have a president here telling big lies over and over again about the size of his mandate. I mean, today he went on and on at CPAC about how many people voted for him, you’ve never seen anything like it. When, in fact, the mandate, his electoral college mandate is one of the smallest in history. One-quarter or one-fifth of what others were. Secondly, he lost the popular vote by almost a record number. Almost 3 million people. and yet he lies over and over again. There is no end of his lies. And on top of that, he is accusing the media that criticize him of being fake news. That combination of telling big lies and accusing the media of being fake news outlets is the kind of strategy that dictators and tyrants have used.”
Cooper closed out the segment saying simply that he’s “glad we’re not going to talk about the size of anyone’s mandate anymore.”
See the full discussion below: