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Trump says he uses social media to fight back 'unfair' press coverage

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
US President Donald Trump holds two thumbs up while meeting with service members of the United States Coast Guard to play golf at Trump International Golf Course in Mar-a-Lago, Florida, on December 29, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

US President Donald Trump has described his frequent use of social media sites as an essential means to fight back against “dishonest and unfair” press coverage, many of which he dismissed as “pure fiction.”

"I use Social Media not because I like to, but because it is the only way to fight a VERY dishonest and unfair 'press,' now often referred to as Fake News Media," Trump wrote in a Saturday tweet, adding, "Phony and non-existent 'sources' are being used more often than ever. Many stories & reports a pure fiction!"

Trump’s latest tweet came following a report published by The New York Times, detailing how the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) began to launch a counterintelligence probe into the Trump presidential campaign during the country’s 2016 election. That report cited several current and former American as well as foreign officials. 

This is while the US president has regularly clashed with the mainstream American media since the early days of his presidential campaign, and has frequently reignited disputes with press agencies that give critical coverage to his administration. 

His fury has especially targeted traditionally liberal and widely read newspapers such as The Washington Post and The New York Times. Trump’s ire has also been directed at major TV networks, including CNN, which he has repeatedly dismissed as dishonest and partisan.

Moreover, Trump has often attributed his use of Twitter to his quest to counter press reports that he considers unfair or "fake news," and has mentioned that the social media site allows him to communicate directly with his supporters.

However, the soundness of Trump's use of Twitter as a platform for communicating with the public has been the subject of considerable debate. A recent survey by The Economist and YouGov found that merely 26 percent of Americans view the US president's use of Twitter as appropriate, while 59 percent disapprove of the practice.

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