In an early-morning tweet storm, Donald Trump told his 11.9 million followers not to trust reporting on his campaign by “the VERY dishonest media.”
The flurry of tweets, most sent around 5 a.m. ET, including a suggestion that followers “check out” a “sex tape” in the past of Alicia Machado, the former Miss Universe whose treatment by Trump decades ago was raised by Hillary Clinton in Monday night’s presidential debate. “Wow, Crooked Hillary was duped and used by my worst Miss U. Hillary floated her as an “angel” without checking her past, which is terrible!”
Trump may have been responding to recent reporting by NBC News on concern among Trump’s family over the direction of the campaign when he tweeted:
Anytime you see a story about me or my campaign saying “sources said,” DO NOT believe it. There are no sources, they are just made up lies!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 30, 2016
In a tweet hours earlier, Trump–who insists he never watches CNN–took a shot at CNN Tonight anchor Don Lemon, writing “Wow, did you see how badly @CNN (Clinton News Network) is doing in the ratings. With people like @donlemon, who could expect any more?”
On MSNBC’s Morning Joe Friday, Jeremy Peters of The New York Times said the tweets revealed that Trump “is utterly unable to process anything critical about his performance, and this has become a problem for the people who are supposed to be advising him—the advice that he will not take.”
Peters says the anonymous sources Trump railed against are senior staff with no other way to speak frankly to their candidate. “This is the only way they can talk to him. They can’t get through to him unless he sees them on the television or reads them in the newspaper … he won’t hear it any other way.”