House Democrats to Launch Investigation into Trump’s Criticism of 'Fake News'
Dems to open official probe in president's attacks on the mainstream media
House Democrats are planning to launch an official investigation into President Donald Trump's ongoing criticism of "fake news" reporting in the mainstream media.
Before Trump was even sworn into office, the establishment media has taken issue with his public lambasting of their false reporting.
In January 2017, then-President-elect Trump adopted the phrase "fake news" during a press conference a little over a week before taking office and catapulted it into the public domain to be eternally associated his critics in the left-wing media.
In response to a question from CNN reporter Jim Acosta, Trump said, "you're fake news" and started repeating the phrase on Twitter around the same time.
The term was originally coined and weaponized by the Democrats and liberal media as a way to blame Hillary Clinton's loss in 2016 as something other than her own making.
On 8 December 2016, Hillary Clinton made a speech in which she mentioned "the epidemic of malicious fake news and false propaganda that flooded social media over the past year."
"It's now clear that so-called fake news can have real-world consequences," she said.
"This isn't about politics or partisanship.
"Lives are at risk… lives of ordinary people just trying to go about their days, to do their jobs, contribute to their communities."
Since "fake news" was picked up by Trump, however, the phrase is now more closely associated with hyper-partisan news outlets such as CNN.
Now, the Democrats are reportedly planning to flex their congressional muscles by opening an official investigation into alleged "abuses of power" by President Trump for criticizing the media, along with his public scrutiny of the Justice Department and the FBI.
"Topics for the inquiry will include Trump’s public humiliation of former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, his attacks on actions by the liberal Ninth Circuit Court and his abuse of reporters as 'dishonest' and 'enemies of the people,'" a source told Bloomberg News this week.
The Judiciary Committee led by Democrat Jerrold Nadler of New York will announce the probe in days, the official said.
There are plans to hold public hearings with witnesses, but it’s not immediately clear who will be summoned.
A spokesman for Nadler said he had no immediate comment.
Presidents have wide leeway to use their bully pulpit to attack foes and get their way.
But the effort comes amid a broader push by Democrats now controlling the House to investigate actions of the president and his administration.
The official said there are questions about whether Trump, through some of his actions, is going too far and undermining the rule of law, a reference to established and defined limits on the arbitrary exercise of power.
According to the Daily Wire, the unnamed official said, "Trump’s attacks on the news media, singling them out for abuse and ridicule, potentially threatens freedom of the press, and also could serve to intimidate other journalists."
Trump, for his part, has repeatedly made clear that he is attacking the "fake news" media, not the media as a whole.
"With all of the success that our Country is having, including the just-released jobs numbers which are off the charts, the Fake News & totally dishonest Media concerning me and my presidency has never been worse," Trump said last January.
"Many have become crazed lunatics who have given up on the TRUTH!"
The latest move by Democrats to officially investigate Trump's criticism is simply an attempt to tie up his agenda with hopes of winning back the White House in 2020.
Still, every American should be concerned when the legislative body of the U.S. government uses its power to probe the executive over criticizing the news media.