President Trump delivered a scathing rebuke to the Washington Post on Monday morning -- and argued the press as a whole has "gone bonkers" -- in response to a weekend report about his team's handling of his controversial attacks on four progressive congresswomen.
“The Amazon Washington Post front page story yesterday was total Fake News," Trump tweeted. "They said 'Advisors wrote new talking points and handed him reams of opposition research on the four Congresswomen.' Now really, does that sound like me?"
Trump insisted no such talking points existed "except for those stated by me" and said "reams of paper" were never given to him by aides.
"It is a made up story meant to demean & belittle,” he continued, claiming the Post had “no sources.”
The Post article painted a picture of a president who did not anticipate the backlash he received from tweets telling the women to “go back” to the countries they came from -- despite three of them being from the United States -- and fix the problems there before coming back. The report said Trump’s own inner circle was surprised by the tweets and were unsure how to handle them. Eventually, the story said, aides “wrote new talking points and handed him reams of opposition research” to shift the message.
The Post cited interviews with 26 anonymous “White House aides, advisers, lawmakers and others involved in the response.” Trump similarly denied the existence of these sources in a Sunday tweet, arguing that they “do not exist.”
Trump has insisted that his entire message towards Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna Pressley has been straight from him. His reference on Monday to the newspaper as the “Amazon Washington Post” is a dig at Amazon founder and Post owner Jeff Bezos, with whom Trump has traded barbs for years.
In his tweets Monday, Trump maligned the "mainstream media" in general, saying, “They have gone bonkers, & no longer care what is right or wrong. This large scale false reporting is sick! “ The president also accused the media of lying to spread a "radical" leftwing message.
Trump has railed against the media throughout his presidency, but Monday morning he said, “It has never been this bad.”