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The Trump exodus is beginning as Republicans defend media outlets



Republican politicians are not standing for Donald Trump’s attack against the free press. Trump has regularly claimed that the media is “the enemy of the American people,” a stance many is his party disagree with on basic principle.

Over the weekend, lawmakers from Sen. John McCain to Trump’s own defense secretary, James “Mad Dog” Mattis, blasted Trump for his demonization of much of the mainstream media.

White House correspondent Jonathan Karl spoke out against Trump’s attacks during an appearance on ABC’s “This Week.”

“I’ve seen my colleagues risk their lives and, with increasing frequency, lose their lives in their pursuit of the truth,” Karl said.

“We are not about to stop doing our jobs because yet another president is unhappy,” he said. “A free press isn’t the enemy of America — it’s a big part of what makes America great.”

McCain (R-Ariz.) appeared on “Meet the Press,” where he stated, “When you look at history, the first thing that dictators do is shut down the press. And I’m not saying that President Trump is trying to be a dictator. I’m just saying we need to learn the lessons of history.”

Mattis told reporters traveling to Abu Dhabi on Sunday that he didn’t see the media as the enemy.

While there have been “some rather contentious times with the press,” Mattis said, “I don’t have any issues with the press myself.”

Carl Bernstein, half of the reporting team that exposed the Watergate scandal, called the President’s attacks on the free press “more treacherous” than President Nixon’s private attacks while claiming that it traces back to “dictators and authoritarians, including Stalin, including Hitler.” He backtracked to note he wasn’t directly comparing Trump to Hitler.

His former partner Bob Woodward added that most of the reporting on Trump has been “quite good.”

“I know Trump a little bit. I don’t think he really believes that the press is the enemy of the people, frankly. And we have to do our reporting in a very aggressive, careful way,” he told CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

Trump’s former opponent, Rand Paul, told “This Week” that “If someone tries to put limits on the press, I’ll be the first one standing up for the right of press.”

Ohio Gov. John Kasich appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union” to note that the press is “vital” and “such an important part of democracy.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) proclaimed that the free press has become “over the top” and “acting more like an opposition party,” but countered by saying the real enemies of the American people are Russia, Iran and radical Islam.

“The backbone of democracy is a free press and an independent judiciary. And they are worth fighting and dying for,” Graham told CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

At least Trump and Steve Bannon will always have Breitbart to warm their cockles.

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