In his 18th interview with FOX on Wednesday, President Trump attacked pretty much every other network as "so false," then essentially congratulated himself for having "really started this whole fake news thing."
"If you look at it from the day I started running to now, I'm so proud that I have been able to convince people how fake it is—because it has taken a nosedive," Trump told FOX Business Network's Lou Dobbs.
The president added that while it might seem like he loves Twitter, firing tweets off into the void is a real burden. Still, he sees it as his duty to deliver "the truth" to the American people.
"I would love to not do it at all," he told Dobbs, a sentiment that most Americans share. "But at least I can put out the truth. And I can put out the real word. And people agree."
Despite the fact that Trump might not think there's anything "more fake than CBS, and NBC, and ABC, and CNN," the fake news phenomenon really took off during the election thanks to people who make a living writing phony stories for bogus outlets that go viral on Facebook. But Trump often uses the term to attack unflattering stories that he believes "have so-called sources that, in my opinion, don't exist."
It's a tactic that has grabbed hold of the collective American psyche. Nearly half of American voters actually believe the media makes up phony stories about him. Meanwhile, the president has a track record of consuming and blowing up stories that are totally bogus—a habit that's also rubbed off on some of his closest colleagues.
But as he tells it, Trump is such a great arbiter of the truth that he shouldn't just be credited with starting "fake news"—even the word "fake" was pretty much his own invention.
"I think one of the greatest of all terms I've come up with is 'fake,'" he told Mike Huckabee in an interview earlier this month, according to the Hill. "I guess other people have used it, perhaps over the years, but I've never noticed it."
It's a claim Merriam Webster says is actually fake news.
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