Steve Baker / Flickr trump thinking...
Steve Baker / Flickr

Donald Trump made it through his visit to Las Vegas without apparently throwing paper towels at anyone or telling shooting victims to “have a good time.” But on Thursday his mind has already turned back to his favorite subject.

On Wednesday, Trump declared NBC News “more fake than CNN” for reporting in a story that Rex Tillerson was considering resignation and needed a “pep talk” from Mike Pence. Though, NBC indicated they had done more than a little verification of the story …

NBC News spoke with a dozen current and former senior administration officials for this article, as well as others who are close to the president.

Trump is demanding a different standard for determining the non-fake-ness of news

News that is investigated by the Senate then verified by Trump—so you know it’s good. 

Between the two tweets against NBC, Trump slipped in an example of what the news should look like in Trumpland.

Since the stock market has been on an eight year rise since President Barack Obama put the brakes on the Great Recession, that market announcement could have been posted on most days since the summer of 2013 when it passed previous records. Likewise, unemployment began plunging almost immediately following passage of Obama’s stimulus package and has never looked back. So that’s not just good news — it’s old news, and not news that can be attributed to anything Trump has done.

The only threat to a continued improvement in these numbers would be removal of the regulations that have kept the economy from running off the rails and institution of a massive top-loaded tax cut that would generate a bubble of wealth while speeding the erosion of stability for the middle and working class.

In other words, what’s kept the economy intact is that, so far, Congress and Donald Trump haven’t actually been able to make good on their plans. But if someone reported on that it would be, of course, fake news! 

For real news, you can only rely on Trump.

Trump mentioned well-documented terrorist attacks in Europe alongside an apparently sinister occurrence we had not heard about — in Sweden.

“We’ve got to keep our country safe. You look at what’s happening. We’ve got to keep our country safe. You look at what’s happening in Germany. You look at what’s happening last night in Sweden,” Trump said at the Melbourne, Fla., event. “Sweden? Who would believe this? Sweden. They took in large numbers. They’re having problems like they never thought possible.”

What happened in Sweden? Something terrible. So terrible those lying Swedes deny anything happened at all.

That’s like these other real, genuine news stories reported by Trump.

“No, I don’t benefit, I don’t benefit” from his tax proposal. …

“We have one senator who’s a ‘yes’ vote … but he’s in the hospital. And he’s a ‘yes’ vote. So we can’t do it by Friday. So we have the votes” to pass a health care bill.” …

“The NSA and FBI tell Congress that Russia did not influence electoral process.” …

“My first order as president was to renovate and modernize our nuclear arsenal. It is now far stronger and more powerful than ever before.” …

“We’ve signed more bills — and I’m talking about through the legislature — than any president ever.”  …

“The murder rate in our country is the highest it’s been in 47 years.” 

While Trump’s tweets against “fake news” may often seem amusing, they represent a real threat. The purpose of these tweets is to degrade public trust in the news media — that includes events like sending the Secretary of State out to deny a story that was reported by multiple sources over a period of months.

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.


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