President Donald Trump said the U.S. would halt "war games" as a gesture of good faith in nuclear negotiations with North Korea, but his use of the phrase drew criticism as mirroring North Korean propaganda.
However, Trump used "war games" to refer to joint military exercises with South Korea long opposed by Pyongyang, and a Free Beacon video shows the term has often been used by mainstream reporters.
"We will stop the war games, which will save us a tremendous amount of money," Trump said during a press conference. "Unless and until we see the future negotiations is not going along like it should."
Trump also called the excercises "war games" in an interview with ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos, and reporters and pundits were aggrieved.
"Did you notice that Donald Trump didn't call them military exercises?" MSNBC analyst Richard Stengel asked.
"No, he called them war games," host Katy Tur replied.
"He's using the same terminology that our adversaries use," Stengel said.
"That is language from Pyongyang, not from the United States of America," CNN reporter Kaitlan Collins said.
"Do you think he understands the difference between military exercises and war games?" MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace asked.
"I don't know how any president of the United States can say that U.S. military exercises are, to use the parlance of a dictator, ‘war games,'" MSNBC analyst Malcolm Nance said.
CNN analyst John Kirby, a former State Department spokesman, took exception to Trump's remarks as well, saying "we call them exercises," and CNN's Joe Johns reported on the "issue of war games versus military exercises."
The Free Beacon found multiple examples of reporters using the term in their coverage of the joint military exercises by the U.S. and South Korea, including MSNBC's Ali Velshi and NBC News anchor Lester Holt.
Trump also took heat from the media for calling the exercises "provocative," which does in fact match North Korean language on the exercises.