Veteran GOP strategist Steve Schmidt explained to Brian Williams late Monday that one of the greatest dangers President Donald Trump has created is for journalists.
Just hours before the scandal broke that "gotcha" activist James O'Keefe was outed for trying to bring down the Washington Post, Trump bragged that there should be some sort of award or trophy given out for fake news.
"Well, he all but declared Fox News to be state TV — extraordinary," noted Schmidt.
Trump and CNN have been in an ongoing feud since former Trump ally Jeff Zucker decided the news was more important than their friendship. Trump has been on a tear against the network in the aftermath.
"With regard to CNN International, with people who live in autocratic countries, who live behind a veil of totalitarianism, CNN International -- they thirst for that news coverage because it's a truth for them," Schmidt continued. "It speaks to what's happening in the world and all of it's cruelty and injustice. But also the magnanimity, the hope, the notion that comes from free people. And, so, what he did is he endangered, certainly, CNN journalists, all journalists operating in dangerous areas, in autocratic areas and it's another assault in sprit on the concept of free press, on the spirit of the First Amendment. And you have a president, in his utterly bizarre claims, that the 'Access Hollywood' tape never happened. These are not normal behaviors, and I think it bears repeating all the time, how far out of the normal range we are. These are the behaviors of an autocrat."
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