Donald Trump launches expletive-filled tirade against journalists and says he is ‘proud’ to have tanked trust in the media

Donald Trump speaks
Former President Donald Trump speaks to supporters during a rally at the Iowa State Fairgrounds on October 09, 2021. Scott Olson/Getty Images
  • Former President Donald Trump called journalists a “bunch of very dishonest, crooked bastards.”
  • He also boasted about tanking the press’s approval ratings during a speech at Mar-a-Lago, a video shows.
  • Several of the statements made by Trump about trust in the media during the speech are factually inaccurate.

Former President Donald Trump launched his latest attack on the news media while speaking to a crowd at a Turning Point Action event at the Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, on Saturday evening.

Around 12 minutes into a video of the speech, which was shared widely on social media, Trump refers to journalists as a “bunch of very dishonest, crooked bastards” and boasting about contributing to public distrust in the media.

 

“The country is at a very important, dangerous place,” the former president told attendees of the event. “We have no press. The press is so corrupt.”

Journalists are “the most dishonest group of people,” Trump said before boasting about tanking the approval ratings of the press.

He said that he was “very proud” to have played a part in plummeting the approval ratings of the press after he first announced he was running in 2015.

While it is true that confidence in traditional media saw a historic decline during Trump’s presidency, per Axios, his claim that 94 or 95% of the public had confidence in the press in 2015 does not appear to be true. 

Only four in 10 Americans said they had “a great deal” or “a fair amount” of trust and confidence in the mass media to report the news fully, accurately, and fairly, according to a 2015 Gallup poll of 1,025 adults living in all 50 US states and DC.

 

“Right now, they [the press] have a lower approval rating than Congress,” Trump continued. “So I’m very happy.”

This also appears to be factually inaccurate. According to a 2021 Gallup poll of 1,381 adults living in all 50 US states and DC, 12% of Americans have “a great deal” or “quite a lot ” of confidence in Congress. More people trust the media, it says, with 21% of those polled expressing confidence in newspapers and 16% in television news.

The former president told the crowd that he considered it to be a “great honor” because journalists are “a bunch of very dishonest, crooked bastards.” It was met with laughter.

Trump then warned that America would march towards communism if “we don’t get the press back in this country.”

During his presidency, and ever since, Trump has berated journalists and sowed distrust in the media. He infamously used Twitter to repeatedly discredit the press as “fake news” and the “enemy of the people.”

It wasn’t only the press that Trump called out in the Mar-a-Lago speech. Insider reported that a crowd cheered when the former president called Gen. Mark Milley a “fucking idiot.”