'I would have walked out of the room': Dan Rather slams White House trying to pit reporters against each other
Dan Rather (Photo: Screen capture)

In a panel discussion with Chris Matthews, Dan Rather and Carl Bernstein and Glenn Thrush, concluded that President Donald Trump seems to be pitting reporters against each other.

Matthews noted that former President Richard Nixon frequently attacked the press but it was picked up in the recordings. Trump, by contrast, is unafraid of saying it out in public.

"President Nixon says the inference was 'the press is the enemy of us, the Nixon administration,'" Rather said. It's something major to say that the press is an enemy of the American people."

He hopes to see reporters continuing to do what they do best and that's research and report.

"We understand what's going on," Rather said. "It's an effort to divide amongst themselves. I don't think it's going to work. We have never seen anything like this in the White House. Even during the worse of the Nixon period. We didn't see this kind of thing happening on any basis."

When asked what Rather would have done if he walked into a press gaggle with the White House press secretary and didn't see some of his competitors, he said simply he would have left.

"A great deal of this is calculated and it's a kind of smoke screen," Rather continued. "It takes away from stories like what did happen between candidate Trump, and for that matter President Trump, and Russian intelligence. Did anything happen or not? A lot of this is designed to throw over the coverage of the important stories and having us talk about press access. Make no mistake about it, this is going to continue. President Trump thinks he is winning a so-called information war. We'll see as it goes along."

Watch the full conversation below: