By Peter BrimelowThe Washington PostThe Washington Free BeaconThe New York TimesThe HillThe Hill—Trump’s purge of mainstream journalists has been underway for weeks and now the president has ordered his Justice Department to begin a “massive” crackdown on the mainstream media.
In a letter to the director of the FBI, Acting Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said the administration has ordered a review of media outlets “that fail to exercise impartiality in their reporting of national security issues and crimes.”
The Justice Department said in a statement on Thursday that the move is meant to ensure that media outlets comply with laws protecting journalists’ First Amendment rights, and that it will conduct a nationwide review of “all media outlets that are not ‘neutral’ in their coverage of national-security issues and are deemed to be engaged in ‘subversive or anti-constitutional activities.'”
Trump and his supporters have taken to Twitter to criticize the media, and he has also called the media “the opposition party” and accused the media of being “the enemy of the American people.”
The president and his allies have attacked the media for reporting on his controversial firing of FBI Director James Comey.
Trump has repeatedly asserted that Comey is the subject of an “enemies list” by the media and that he has been “so badly treated” by Comey, who was fired in May after more than a year on the job.
The Justice Departments decision to investigate media outlets was first reported by The Washington Post, which has a longstanding relationship with Rosenstein.
It noted that the Justice Department has a “tentative list of media institutions” that it has been working with to “review the media’s coverage of the Trump Administration and the President.”
Trump has long attacked the news media, with the latest example coming last week when he criticized the media during his speech at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner.
He said the media is “the enemies of the United States,” and said he was “going to start winning” in the future.
“They’re the enemies of our country,” Trump said.
“It’s a total and complete disaster.
They are the enemy of all that we stand for, and they are the enemies.”