Former US President Bill Clinton has said President Donald Trump’s repeated comment regarding the “fake news” mirrors what he called “dictators’ club” of world leaders that seek to “abolish the line between fact and fiction”.
Mr Clinton was speaking with late night television host Conan O’Brien in a revealing interview on the first anniversary of Hillary Clinton’s stunning election loss.
He said regarding the “dictators’ club” – to include leaders like Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan – that “they want to abolish the line between fact and fiction and truth and lie because they figure if you don’t know what’s true, and you don’t think you can ever know, that pretty soon everybody will accept that democracy is no longer possible.”
The current President has tweeted about the “fake news” – a term he said he coined – in some manner 127 times since winning the election, 42 times about CNN, The New York Times, and NBC News alone.
Mr O’Brien astutely asked if the former President was “talking about foreign countries now or here?”
Mr Clinton remained silent for a minute.
“You just said a lot by saying nothing,” Mr O’Brien noted.
“We need to tell all these people that just make up stuff on the internet to knock it off,” Mr Clinton stated, hinting at the proliferation of false news sites and their promotion on social media channels like Facebook.
Mr Clinton reflected on his own anniversary as well – it has been 25 years since his first presidential election victory in November 1992.
He thinks that thankfully the country is more diverse, but “the thing that’s not so good is we’re in the middle of…” when the audience for the “Conan” show shouted “Trump!”