“Why Isn’t the Senate Intel Committee looking into the Fake News Networks in OUR country to see why so much of our news is just made up-FAKE!” Trump tweeted Thursday morning, the day after the Senate Intelligence Committee updated reporters about its months-long investigation into Russia’s alleged interference in the US election.
Some news outlets will be left “with egg on their face” over their reporting on the Russia investigation, committee chairman Richard Burr (R-North Carolina) told CNN when asked about Trump’s statement.
“If, in fact, we find that news organizations have not covered it factually, I think that you’ll see that in our report,” Burr said, after the committee announced that they have yet to come up with any “findings” in their Russia probe.
Burr, however, clarified that the Senate committee is not investigating news outlets. Instead, the panel will be “holding them accountable for what they say with no sources to substantiate the facts,” he said, without elaborating on specific outlets.
The US president has long complained about major US media outlets being against him during and after the election. He labeled a number of them, including the Washington Post, The New York Times and CNN, “fake news.”
On Wednesday, Trump blasted NBC for its “fake news” reporting that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson supposedly called Trump a “moron” and threatened to resign, only to be talked out of it by Vice President Mike Pence
Tillerson told reporters he had “never considered leaving” his post and described the story as “erroneous” and “petty nonsense.”
The vice president likewise denied the claims in the NBC story.
“At no time did he and the secretary ever discuss the prospect of the secretary’s resignation from the administration. Any reporting to the contrary is categorically false,” said Jarrod Agen, Pence’s spokesman.
In late September, the Washington Post was forced to retract its claim that former President Barack Obama had told the head of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, to tackle the alleged Russian meddling in the election. The retraction came after Facebook denied that such a conversation took place.
The Post was previously forced to walk back one of its major stories shortly after the election when it reported that Russia hacked into the Vermont power grid. Authorities later confirmed that it never happened.
While the Senate Intelligence Committee has yet to come up with any “findings” on Russia’s alleged meddling in the US presidential election, congressional investigators are now focused on “the Russians’ use of social media platforms,” – committee chairman Richard Burr (R-North Carolina) and its ranking member, Senator Mark Warner (D-Virginia), told reporters.
“The Russia hoax continues, now it’s ads on Facebook. What about the totally biased and dishonest media coverage in favor of Crooked Hillary?” Trump tweeted on September 22, after the social media giant said it found 3,000 ads on “divisive” social issues which were “likely” run from Russia.
“The greatest influence over our election was the Fake News Media ‘screaming’ for Crooked Hillary Clinton,” Trump added.
Moscow has repeatedly denied interfering in the US election.
The deputy chairman of the Russian parliament’s committee on information technologies and communications, Andrey Svintsov, said Thursday that the US media are making up “scare stories” about Russia to undermine President Trump.
“This hysteria and the spreading of pretty dirty smears against their own president, who fairly and squarely won the election, shows that trust in democracy is unfortunately undermined,” Svintsov said in reaction to Trump’s latest statement.