Trump calls 'fake news' media 'the real enemy of the people' over Putin summit

PHOTO: President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin shake hands as they hold a joint news conference after their meeting in Helsinki, Finland July 16, 2018.PlayGrigory Dukor/Reuters
WATCH Trump calls 'fake news' media 'the real enemy of the people' over Putin summit

President Donald Trump called the "fake news media" the "real enemy of the people" Thursday, tweeting that the summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier this week was “a great success.”

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Trump's tweet comes on the heels of his multi-day clarifications of statements regarding Russia and election meddling and following his widely-panned press conference with Putin in Helsinki.

His comments also come less than a month after he said members of the press should be "free from the fear of being violently attacked while doing their jobs," in the wake of a deadly shooting in a Maryland newsroom of the Capital Gazette that killed five people on June 28.

The president has previously lashed out at news media – sometimes specifically mentioning several news organizations. He has also called the so-called "fake news media" "the enemy of the people" several times this year.

The president's most recent comments about the press come after he was criticized by news editorial boards, lawmakers and others for appearing to accept Putin's "strong" and "powerful" denial on Russia's 2016 U.S. election meddling over the assessment of the American intelligence community.

The next day, the president said: "I accept our intelligence community's conclusion that meddling took place," as he read from remarks. He added that it "could be other people also. There's a lot of people out there."

Trump also said he misspoke during Monday's joint press conference with Putin and meant to say there was no reason "it wouldn't be Russia" behind election meddling.

"I said the word would instead of wouldn't...I think that probably clarifies things pretty good by itself," Trump said.

Another clarification came a day later by White House press secretary Sarah Sanders after the president was twice asked a question and then for a clarification on the president’s response by ABC News' Cecilia Vega.

Vega received a "no" each time, which was recorded and other reporters confirmed hearing as well. The president ignored her request for clarification.

“Is Russia still targeting the U.S., Mr. President,” Vega asked.

“Thank you very much, no,” he said.

Vega pressed: “No?! You don’t believe that to be the case?”

He responded: "No."

Vega asked again a third time: "But can you just clarify, you don't believe that to be the case?"

The president ignored that question.

Afterward, Sanders said during a press briefing that the president was not answering the reporter's question but saying, "thank you, no" to answering any further questions from reporters.

The term "fake news" also appeared in a California congressman's campaign ad last month where Devin Nunes, R-Calif., called The Fresno Bee a "band of creeping correspondents."

"The Bee's reporting is a textbook example of fake news," Nunes said in a video posted on YouTube, referring to the daily local newspaper's reporting on issues surrounding a winery, which the congressman invests in.

"We stand behind our reporting. For all his complaints about 'fake news,' Rep. Nunes has failed to identify a single factual error in our work – while making numerous false statements himself," Fresno Bee editor Joe Kieta told ABC News in a statement.

Kieta went on to say that the paper attempted to contact Nunes before publishing any of its stories on him.

"We made multiple attempts to reach Rep. Nunes for comment prior to publication of the winery story, and every story that we’ve produced about him. That’s what good journalists do. It was his choice not to speak with us, as it is his choice to spend his campaign funds to produce an ad attacking The Bee," he wrote.

ABC News reached out to Nunes' office for comment but did not receive a response by the time of publication.

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