US President Donald Trump has called the Associated Press “fake news” over a headline it had on a story about comments Trump made on the midterm congressional elections, saying the AP headline was misleading.
“AP headline was very different from my quote and meaning in the story. They just can’t help themselves. FAKE NEWS!” Trump said on Twitter on Wednesday.
In a wide-range interview with AP Tuesday, Trump was asked if he would take responsibility if Republicans lost the majority in Congress in the upcoming midterm elections in November.
The AP said Trump dismissed the idea that he would be to blame if Republicans lose majority.
“No, I think I’m helping people,” Trump said in response. “I don’t believe anybody’s ever had this kind of an impact.”
The headline on that article was, “Trump tells AP he won’t accept blame if GOP loses House."
Several outlets picked up the quote and angle the AP published.
The US president also told the AP that he believes he has been doing his job in rallying supporters ahead of the elections, but he added that some of his supporters have said they won't vote because he is not on the ballot.
“I’m not running,” he said. “I mean, there are many people that have said to me ... ‘I will never ever go and vote in the midterms because you’re not running and I don’t think you like Congress.’”
Republican Party lawmakers currently hold majorities in both chambers of Congress, but Democrats are seen as likely to gain majority in the House of Representatives next month.
Political handicapper FiveThirtyEight says that it is a 75 percent chance that Democrats take back control of the lower chamber.
Trump has often used “fake news” to describe news reports that do not support him or his administration. He has specifically targeted outlets including CNN, The New York Times and The Washington Post and has often called the press the “enemy of the people.”
Trump’s verbal attacks on the American media are “very close to incitement to violence” against journalists, the UN human rights commissioner Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein warned in August.