John McCain to Donald Trump

As president Trump is allowed to go after his perceived political opponents. But taxpayer-paid staff face ethics rules barring them from actin to help or hurt companies while on the clock

"While administration officials often condemn violence against reporters overseas, Trump continues his unrelenting attacks on the integrity of American journalists and news outlets", Mr McCain wrote in an editorial for the Washington Post.

"The Fake News Media Awards are setting up now". McCain also noted that 21 reporters were imprisoned a year ago on charges of "fake news" - the phrase frequently used by Trump to dispute reporting critical of his administration. In December, The New York Times reported that "many of the world's autocrats and dictators are taking a shine to" fake news, including Venezuela's socialist leader, Nicolás Maduro, and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

McCain cited a recent Committee to Protect Journalists report, noting that 2017 saw a rise in attacks on journalists worldwide. The president initially tweeted that they would be on Monday, January 8, but later postponed them to Wednesday, January 17.

Such respected USA media organisations as the New York Times, Washington Post, ABC and CNN have clashed repeatedly with the Trump administration and could be singled out again for a Fake News Award.


It is unclear whether the awards are, well, real. Asked about the awards in a press conference, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders referred to them as a "potential event".

Last month he said: "President Trump: "Fake news" is not broadcasters criticising you, it's Russian bots and trolls targeting your democracy, pumping out untrue stories day after day, night after night".

On Sunday, Arizona Senator Jeff Flake discussed pre-released segments of a speech he is due to give on Wednesday in which he will criticize the Trump administration. Foreign leaders using the phrase can make it more hard for activists overseas to express dissent, McCain argued. "Trump continues his unrelenting attacks on the integrity of American journalists and news outlets". Reagan recognized that as leader of the free world, his words carried enormous weight, and he used them to inspire the unprecedented spread of democracy around the world.

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