President Trump slammed the Associated Press on Wednesday over a headline about the upcoming midterm elections that he called misleading.
“AP headline was very different from my quote and meaning in the story,” Trump tweeted. “They just can’t help themselves. FAKE NEWS!”
Trump sat down on Tuesday for an Oval Office interview with AP White House reporters Catherine Lucey, Zeke Miller and Jonathan Lemire. The conversation generated multiple headlines but the president’s “fake news” tweet was referring to the AP story, “Trump tells AP he won't accept blame if GOP loses House,” a White House official confirmed to Fox News.
The AP story reported that Trump said “he won’t accept the blame if his party loses control of the House in November, arguing his campaigning and endorsements have helped Republican candidates.”
Trump did not elaborate on his tweet but it was an apparent reference to how his quotes spoke more to how he's "helping" candidates than how he might avoid blame for a loss. The AP story said Trump “dismissed suggestions that he might take responsibility” for midterm losses. “No, I think I’m helping people,” Trump told the AP. “I don’t believe anybody’s ever had this kind of an impact.”
“The Associated Press stands by its reporting,” a spokesperson told Fox News.
The AP published a transcript of the entire interview.
Trump mocks his critics in the mainstream media on a regular basis but his “fake news” moniker is typically reserved for CNN and NBC News, while he often attacks The New York Times as “failing.”
According to the AP story, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Communications Director Bill Shine and White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway were present for the interview.
The upcoming midterm elections offer Democrats a chance to take control of the House and Senate and Trump’s critics would consider a GOP loss on par with a loss for Trump. While the president has been campaigning regularly, he told the AP that some of his supporters could skip the midterms.
“I’m not running … I mean, there are many people that have said to me ... ‘I will never ever go and vote in the midterms because you’re not running and I don’t think you like Congress,’” Trump told the AP. “Well, I do like Congress."
Fox News’ Jennifer Bowman contributed to this report.