Donald Trump has promised scrutiny of the mainstream media if he is re-elected to the White House next year and singled out MSNBC for its “dishonest and corrupt coverage.” In a post on his Truth Social media account, the former President referred to the network as “MSDNC (Democrat National Committee!)” and argued it should be investigated for “Country Threatening Treason.”
During his years in the Oval Office, President Trump famously had a hostile and contentious relationship with the press and routinely referred to stories as “fake news.” He furthermore labeled the press the “enemies of the people.” As part of his promise to rein in false news coverage, Trump said, “The Fake News Media should pay a big price for what they have done to our once great Country!”
Much of the media has responded to Trump’s message as a serious threat to a free press, with the Guardian headline labeling him a “full fascist.” The White House responded to Mr. Trump’s social media post, calling it an “outrageous attack on our democracy and the rule of law.” Andrew Bates, White House deputy press secretary, said Trump’s words amounted to an abuse of Presidential power. “Presidents must always defend Americans’ freedoms – never trample on them for selfish, small, and dangerous political purposes,” he added.
Meanwhile, NBC reports that President Biden is “concerned” as Trump’s popularity soars. A Washington Post poll on September 24 put the Republican frontrunner 10 points ahead of Biden, and in a separate finding, Trump defeats Biden by 39% to 36% when all other potential candidates, such as third parties, are added to the mix.
The No Labels party, for example, has yet to name a candidate but is expected to be in the race. Left-wing academic Cornel West is also standing, and there will likely be candidates from small Green and Libertarian organizations.
Several polls from the end of September show a Trump-Biden race too close to call.