- The Washington Times - Saturday, April 29, 2017

A majority of White House reporters believe President Trump has already established himself as the most openly anti-media president in U.S. history, according to a report from Politico.

Published on Mr. Trump’s 100th day in office, the report released Saturday indicates White House journalists overwhelmingly agree the current administration is the worst ever with respect to its interactions with the press.

Sixty-eight percent of respondents answered “true” when asked recently if Mr. Trump is the most openly anti-press president in history, Politico reported; about one-third, or 32 percent, responded “false.”

What’s more, three-in-four reporters described the president’s frequent attacks against the media as a “distraction,” compared to 25 percent who quantified those assaults as legitimate threats, according to the report.

Only 12 percent of respondents, meanwhile, said they haven’t been lied to by a member of the Trump administration. Seventeen percent said they’re subjected to lies “constantly,” while 46 percent said they believe the White House fibs on an occasional basis.

Politico’s findings stem from interviews conducted last month with 63 members of the White House press corps and comes on the heels of three similar reports released toward the end of former President Obama’s tenure in office.

When asked to rank Mr. Trump and his predecessor on a scale of 1-10 with respect to their overall treatment of the media, respondents offered the current president a score of 7.2, with a score of 10 designating an administration that’s “outright hostile.” Mr. Obama was considered more favorable to the press by respondents and was handed a ranking of 5.3, Politico reported.

Mr. Trump has repeatedly labeled media outlets as “fake” since shortly before taking office, and in February declared the press the “enemy of the American people.” The insults have hardly subsided during his first 100 days in office, however, evidenced most recently by a seemingly unprovoked comment made by Mr. Trump during a signing ceremony in Washington on Friday, one day short of the 100-day milestone.

“I’m very proud of the people standing behind me. I’m far less proud of the people standing in front of me: the media,” Mr. Trump said Friday.

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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