Donald Trump isn’t about to tone it down.
In a sneak peek at HBO’s new docuseries AXIOS, the president addressed his history of antagonism toward the media — and why it’s unlikely to change.
Zeroing in on the fact that Trump has publicly labeled the press the “enemy of the people,” Axios co-founder Jim VandeHei asked the president if he was ever worried that his “fervent supporters” would resort to acts of violence.
While Trump remarked that his supporters “like me more because of” that kind of rhetoric, VandeHei pressed the president, remarking, “There’s got to be a part of you that’s like: ‘Dammit, I’m scared that someone is gonna take it too far.’ “
Defending himself, Trump replied, “It’s my only form of fighting back.”
“I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t do that,” he added.
During the interview, Trump also claimed it was his responsibility to speak out against the press when the situation warranted it.
“I think I’m doing a service [by attacking the press] when people write stories about me that are so wrong,” Trump continued. “I know what I do good and what I do bad. I really get it, okay? I really get it better than anybody in the whole word.”
During a campaign rally in Iowa, just one week before explosive devices were sent to numerous prominent Democrats and Trump critics, the president remarked during a campaign rally in Iowa that Democrats are “really evil people” who “want to destroy people.”
During the same event, he also called the press “the enemy of the people.”
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Trump went on to blame the media for the surge of potentially dangerous mailings, arguing that the press was at fault for creating divisions in American society — and ignoring the way his own words have a history of stirring up public resentment.
“A very big part of the anger we see today in our society is caused by the purposely false and inaccurate reporting of the mainstream media that I refer to as fake news,” he tweeted. “It has gotten so bad and hateful that it is beyond description. Mainstream media must clean up its act, fast!”
On Monday, addressing the common refrain from his critics about easing up on the language he uses to describe his critics, Trump told Fox News host Laura Ingraham that his fans just weren’t interested in that kind of adjustment, according to The Hill.
Speaking about the rally he attended last weekend, just hours after 11 people were killed and six people were injured by a gunman at a synagogue in Pittsburgh, Trump shared that the crowd told him, ‘No, don’t tone it down, don’t tone it down.’ ”
“Frankly, I think that’s probably the way it should be,” he remarked.
The full interview will air on AXIOS this Sunday, Nov. 4 at 6:30 p.m. ET on HBO.