President Donald Trump tweeted on Thursday morning to ask the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is currently investigating Trump’s possible collusion with Russia during the 2016 election, to instead look into “Fake News Networks.”
“Why Isn’t the Senate Intel Committee looking into the Fake News Networks in OUR country to see why so much of our news is just made up-FAKE!” tweeted Trump.
Trump’s tweet continues a media offensive that began on Wednesday morning when NBC News reported that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called Trump a “moron.”
After the story, Tillerson held a press conference in which he said Trump “is smart,” though he did not explicitly deny the report that he called him a moron. Instead, he dismissed the report as “nonsense” that he would not address.
“The @NBCNews story has just been totally refuted by Sec. Tillerson and @VP Pence. It is #FakeNews,” tweeted Trump on Wednesday.
“It was fake news, it was a totally phoney story,” Trump told reporters during a visit to Las Vegas to meet some of the victims of Sunday night’s mass shooting. “It was made up by NBC, they just made it up.”
A spokesperson for Tillerson explicitly denied the “moron” quip, but NBC told Business Insider that it stands by its reporting.
According to the Senate Intelligence Committee’s latest statement, “the issue of collusion” between the Trump campaign and Russia “is still open.” Additionally, an obstruction of justice case may be building against Trump after he fired the head of FBI while the bureau investigated his campaign.
But the committee also acknowledged that propaganda, or disinformation, had shaped the outcome of the election by infiltrating US social media networks.
Large tech companies like Facebook, Google, and Twitter, have also struggled lately at preventing their products from distributing fake news, but it’s unclear if Trump meant to include these companies in what he called “Fake News Networks.”
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