On the heels of President Donald Trump’s tweet on Wednesday morning that The New York Times is “a true ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE,” the famed newspaper’s publisher penned a response in which he compared the president to a dictator.
“In demonizing the free press as the enemy, simply for performing its role of asking difficult questions and bringing uncomfortable information to light, President Trump is retreating from a distinctly American principle. It’s a principle that previous occupants of the Oval Office fiercely defended regardless of their politics, party affiliation, or complaints about how they were covered,” writes A.G. Sulzberger in a note published on the Times’ press website.
The New York Times reporting is false. They are a true ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 20, 2019
He adds that Trump’s use of the phrase “enemy of the people” is “not just false, it’s dangerous.”
“It has an ugly history of being wielded by dictators and tyrants who sought to control public information. And it is particularly reckless coming from someone whose office gives him broad powers to fight or imprison the nation’s enemies,” Sulzberger says.
“As I have repeatedly told President Trump face to face, there are mounting signs that this incendiary rhetoric is encouraging threats and violence against journalists at home and abroad,” Sulzberger continues
He ends his response by saying that the Times has served the public through “33 presidential administrations, across 167 years” and will continue to “help people, regardless of their backgrounds or politics, understand their country and the world.” He writes that the paper will report independently, fairly and accurately, ask the hard questions and “pursue the truth wherever it leads.”