Donald Trump threatens to revoke journalists' press credentials

 Trump speaks to reporters after signing a proclamation declaring his intention to withdraw from the Iran nuclear agreement.
Trump speaks to reporters after signing a proclamation declaring his intention to withdraw from the Iran nuclear agreement.PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Tired of negative coverage, US President Donald Trump hinted on Wednesday (May 9) that he was ready to take his battles with the news media a step further by revoking journalists' credentials.

"The Fake News is working overtime. Just reported that, despite the tremendous success we are having with the economy & all things else, 91% of the Network News about me is negative (Fake)," Trump tweeted.

"Why do we work so hard in working with the media when it is corrupt? Take away credentials?"

Journalists are required to obtain and present press credentials in order to enter and report from the White House, government agencies, Congress and the Supreme Court.

Trump has frequently attacked the media and its coverage of him since his days as a presidential candidate when he appeared to condone or even encourage violence against journalists.

In a July 2017 tweet, he included doctored video showing him body-slamming and punching a World Wrestling Entertainment whose head was covered with the CNN logo.

Since taking up the presidency, Trump has strongly favoured news outlets that provide glowing coverage such as Fox News, the Daily Caller, Newsmax and Sinclair, a group of almost 200 local TV stations.

He often uses Twitter to tout day-to-day stock market increases, jobs data and other positive economic indicators as evidence of his administration's success.

He routinely attacks the news media as "dishonest" and brands critical media outlets and reports as "fake news." For the second year in a row, he skipped the prestigious White House Correspondents' Dinner, an event traditionally attended by the American president.

"Why would I want to be stuck in a room with a bunch of fake news liberals who hate me?" Trump said ahead of the event in a fund-raising e-mail authorised by the Republican National Committee.

Trump has attended the dinner before, but as a guest. Then a reality TV star, Trump was in the audience in 2011 when Barack Obama famously mocked him for renewing the "birther" conspiracy about the nation's first black president.

"No one is prouder to put this birth certificate matter to rest than The Donald," Obama quipped, as Trump scowled in his seat.

"And that's because he can finally get back to focusing on the issues that matter, like, did we fake the moon landing?"