U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

President Trump tells supporters that journalists ‘don't like our country’

Incident Details

Date of Incident
August 22, 2017
Phoenix, Arizona

Other Incident

REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Phoenix, Arizona, on August 22, 2017.

— REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
August 22, 2017

During a combative speech delivered in Phoenix, Arizona on Aug. 22, 2017, President Trump blamed the media for fomenting division in the country and told his supporters that journalists dislike the United States.

“You’re taxpaying Americans who love our nation, obey our laws, and care for our people,” President Trump told his supporters. “It’s time to expose the crooked media deceptions, and to challenge the media for their role in fomenting divisions. And yes, by the way — and yes, by the way, they are trying to take away our history and our heritage. You see that.”

“These are truly dishonest people,” Trump said later in the speech, referring to the journalists who report on his administration. “And not all of them. Not all of them. You have some very good reporters. You have some very fair journalists. But for the most part, honestly, these are really, really dishonest people, and they’re bad people. And I really think they don’t like our country. I really believe that. And I don’t believe they’re going to change, and that’s why I do this.”

Trump then falsely suggested that CNN and other cable networks had turned off their cameras to avoid broadcasting his speech. In fact, CNN continued to air the speech live.

“You would think — you would think they’d want to make our country great again, and I honestly believe they don’t,” he said. “I honestly believe it. If you want to discover the source of the division in our country, look no further than the fake news and the crooked media...”

The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker catalogues press freedom violations in the United States. Email tips to [email protected].