President Donald Trump has engaged in an ever-intensifying public battle with the press, calling a variety of media outlets the “enemy of the American people,” but a new Quinnipiac University poll has yielded some results he likely won’t enjoy.
“The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @NBCNews, @ABC, @CBS, @CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People,” Trump tweeted on Feb. 17.
But do the American people agree with his assessment?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 17, 2017
One one side, the poll found that 50 percent of the voters disapprove of the way the media have covered Trump, with 45 percent rejecting this sentiment. But despite half disliking the coverage, the public isn’t necessarily on board with Trump’s rhetoric, either, as 61 percent of voters disapprove of the ways in which he has talked about the media.
Perhaps the most damning finding came when individuals were asked, “Who do you trust more to tell you the truth about important issues: President Trump or the news media?” In the end, journalists trumped the commander-in-chief, with 52 percent selecting the media and with 37 percent choosing the president.
In addition to that deep divide, the vast majority — 90 percent — of voters said it’s at least somewhat important for the media to “hold public officials accountable,” according to Quinnipiac.
“The media, so demonized by the Trump Administration, is actually a good deal more popular than President Trump,” Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll, said in a statement revealing the results.
The survey also found that Trump is town to a 38 percent approval rating, with 55 percent saying he isn’t honest, 55 percent saying he lacks leadership skills and 60 percent saying he doesn’t share their values.
With these indicators in mind, Malloy said Trump’s “popularity is sinking like a rock.” Read all of the results here.
It should be noted, though, that a separate Fox News poll released before Trump’s infamous “enemy of the American people” tweet and before he held a contentious Feb. 16 press conference with reporters found that people actually saw the White House as more truthful than the media — a reversal of the Quinnipiac findings, leading one to wonder whether Trump’s anti-media antics have negatively impacted his public standing.
Fox News asked the following question: “Who do you trust more to tell the public the truth — the Trump administration or the reporters who cover the administration?” finding that 45 percent selected the administration, while 42 percent said the media.
The poll was conducted the week before the press conference and tweet were sent.
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