NBC News anchor Lester Holt suggested President Donald Trump was endangering journalists by calling some of them the "enemy of the people," saying in an interview Monday he wanted Trump to stop using that "reckless" attack.
"Late Night" host Seth Meyers asked Holt about Trump's slams on the "fake news" press, which he frequently tweets about. The president wrote Sunday the "Fake News hates me saying that they are the Enemy of the People only because they know it's TRUE … They are very dangerous & sick!"
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The Fake News hates me saying that they are the Enemy of the People only because they know it’s TRUE. I am providing a great service by explaining this to the American People. They purposely cause great division & distrust. They can also cause War! They are very dangerous & sick!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 5, 2018
"Is it strange to be representing a profession right now that the President of the United States is just full-bore attacking on a daily basis?" Meyer asked.
"You know, I let the ‘fake news' stuff roll off my back. It's not fun, but I think most people understand an organization like ours and a lot of the organizations under fire have been doing this for decades and decades, and we've earned a lot of trust with our audiences," Holt said. "I think where I draw the line, though, is the safety and well-being of my colleagues, and ‘enemy of the people,' I think, crosses a line."
"I think it's reckless. I respectfully ask that it end, and that's what I have to say about it," Holt added.
The debate over Trump's use of the phrase has intensified over the past week, culminating in a tense exchange between White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders and CNN reporter Jim Acosta where Sanders would not bow to Acosta's request to say the press was not the enemy of the people.