U.S. President Donald Trump unleashed new attacks Sunday on two of his favorite targets, opposition Democrats and the national news media.
In one of a string of Twitter comments, the U.S. leader contended that Democratic lawmakers were continuing "to obstruct the confirmation of hundreds of good and talented people who are needed to run our government." He said there is a record number of vacancies in the State Department.
"Ambassadors and many others are being slow walked" in the confirmation process, he said. "Senate must approve NOW!"
However, 13 months into his presidency, Trump has failed to nominate officials to fill key openings, including his ambassador to South Korea, even though he has agreed to meet by May with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un over the possible denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. There has been a wave of retirements among State Department officials, and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has left top positions unfilled.
Trump complained about the national news media's reports on polls showing him with "somewhat low" voter approval ratings, while he said they underplay the Republican-leaning Rasmussen Reports poll showing him "at around 50%."
"They know they are lying when they say it. Turn off the show — FAKE NEWS!" Trump said.
The Rasmussen tracking survey on Friday actually showed voters disapproving of his White House performance by a 54-44 percent margin, not much better than Real Clear Politics's national average of polls giving Trump a negative 53.7-40.9 standing.
Trump claimed news reports have failed to report a 5-0 Republican run of victories in special elections for seats in the House of Representatives since he took office, when the actual number is 5-1, and Republicans lost a Senate seat in Alabama to a Democrat for the first time in 25 years.
Trump also attacked a story in the "failing New York Times" about his possible hiring of another attorney to bolster his response to the ongoing criminal investigation of possible collusion between his 2016 campaign and Russia to help him defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton. He described one of the writers of the story, Maggie Haberman, as "a Hillary flunky (who) knows nothing about me and is not given access."