Sasse warns of ‘weaponizing distrust’ after Trump tweets

Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse said Sunday that he is troubled by President Donald Trump’s latest attacks on the news media because he is concerned about the danger of “weaponizing distrust,” which can harm the freedoms that define a democracy.

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“There’s an important distinction to draw between bad stories or crappy coverage and the right that citizens have to argue about that and complain about that and trying to weaponize distrust,” Sasse said in an interview with Jake Tapper on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “The First Amendment is the beating heart of the American experiment, and you don’t get to separate the freedoms that are in there.”
The Republican freshman senator’s remarks come after Trump spent the past week relentlessly attacking the news media — including CNN, MSNBC, CBS and The Washington Post — in a barrage of tweets and at event honoring veterans Saturday night at the Kennedy Center in Washington.
“The fake media is trying to silence us, but we will not let them,” Trump said, without offering any evidence that journalists — who cover every public remark made by the President — have attempted to silence him.
“The fake media tried to stop us from going to the White House,” Trump said. “But I’m President and they’re not.”
Sasse added that while “(t)here are a whole bunch of particular journalists who should be called out for particular stories that aren’t good enough,” it is “not helpful to call the press the enemy of the American people” — a direct reference to language used by the President to describe journalists.

 

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