Senate Unanimously Says Press Isn’t ‘Enemy of the People’

(Bloomberg) -- The Republican-led Senate unanimously adopted a resolution saying the press “is not the enemy of the people” and instead plays a “vital and indispensable” role to inform the electorate, an indirect swipe at President Donald Trump who just hours earlier attacked the media.

The resolution said it’s the sworn responsibility of those who have taken an oath to uphold the Constitution to support freedom of the press as well. The Senate condemned “efforts to systematically undermine the credibility of the press as an attack on the democratic institutions of the United States."

The measure’s unanimous approval shows senators from both parties are becoming increasingly uneasy about Trump’s steady attacks on reporters and news organizations. Republican lawmakers have stepped up muted criticism of the president as they fight to keep control of both the House and Senate in November elections.

Trump, who has called the media the “real enemy of the people,” tweeted earlier Thursday: “THE FAKE NEWS MEDIA IS THE OPPOSITION PARTY.” He later tweeted that the “Press is FREE to write and say anything it wants, but much of what it says is FAKE NEWS, pushing a political agenda or just plain trying to hurt people.”

Also Thursday, 350 newspapers joined to publish editorials defending freedom of the press in response to the president’s rhetoric.

Last month, the Senate effectively rebuked Trump in a resolution for considering Russia’s request to interrogate U.S. officials, giving voice to growing unease over the president’s shifting policies toward his country’s biggest adversary after his summit with Vladimir Putin.

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