NYT reporter: White House aides are 'averting their gaze' and pretending Trump isn't 'pouring gas on a fire'
President Donald Trump speaking in the White House (Screenshot/Fox News)

As President Donald Trump ramps up his attacks on the media amid a climate of escalating political violence, New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman says that many White House aides are in a state of denial about what their boss is doing.

Reacting to the president's tweet in which he once again called the media "the true enemy of the people," Haberman called out the president for using threatening language as a way to fire up his voters ahead of the 2018 midterms.

"This isn’t a lack of understanding of the impact of these words," she wrote on Twitter. "This is a strategy. Describing it as 'he doesn’t get it' is a form of grading on a curve."

Haberman then took aim at Trump's backers in the White House, whom she accused of rationalizing the president deploying authoritarian rhetoric.

"It’s a form of rationalizing why people in government either in the executive or the legislative branch are averting their gaze from what anyone can see is pouring gas on a fire that burned for days last week in the form of pipe bombs," she wrote.