U.S. President Donald Trump says he believes his treatment by the national media is worse than that endured by Abraham Lincoln, the Civil War-era president assassinated in 1865.
“I am greeted with a hostile press, the likes of which no president has ever seen. The closest would be that gentleman right up there,” Trump said during a televised virtual town hall Sunday night at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington.
As he sat on a high-backed stool beneath the majestic marble statue of Lincoln, Trump said, “They always said, ‘Lincoln, nobody got treated worse than Lincoln.’ I believe I am treated worse.”
Trump’s assessment of his often-hostile relations with the national news media was prompted by a pointed question from a retired nurse and elementary school guidance counselor.
She praised Trump for his “great dedication to our country.” But she said, “The question I have is about your manner of presentation. Why do you use descriptive words that could be classified as bullying and why do you not directly answer the questions asked by the press, but instead speak of past successes and generally ramble?"
She urged Trump to “let go of those behaviors that are turning people away from you.”
Trump smiled in response, saying, “I’m not sure, but I think I like that question. I appreciate it.”
But Trump, a Republican like Lincoln, then attacked journalists for asking what he characterized as “disgraceful” questions. He claimed that most of the media “might as well be in the Democrat party.”
“I feel that if I was kind to them, I’d be walked off the stage,” Trump said. “They come at you with the most horrible, horrendous, biased questions.”
He said when he faces reporters, “I’m standing up there and instead of asking me a normal question, the level of anger and hatred, I’ll look at them, I’ll say, ‘What’s your problem?’”