Two hundred journalists penned an open letter Thursday directly blaming President Trump for being “a part of a sustained pattern of attack on a free press.”
“At his inauguration, the President of the United States swears to protect the U.S. Constitution, including the First Amendment,” the letter read. “This President is utterly failing to do so and actively working not simply to undermine the press, but to incite violence against it as well.”
The letter highlighted Mr. Trump’s recent comments about Republican Rep. Greg Gianforte, who he called “my guy.” The president also praised the Montana congressman’s wrestling ability at a rally. Mr. Gianforte pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault after body slamming Ben Jacobs, a reporter for The Guardian.
The journalists, many of whom worked for major media outlets such as ABC, CBS and NBC also fully endorsed the lawsuit filed against the president by the PEN, a literary and human rights organization, accusing him of violating the First Amendment.
The letter comes as Mr. Trump faces mounting criticism over his aggressive rhetoric toward the media after CNN and several Democrats were targeted with potential pipe bombs this week.
On Wednesday, the president strongly condemned these acts, but on Thursday said the mainstream media was “a very big part” of the reason behind intense anger in America.