By Jordain Carney
March 22, 2017
“We must resist President Trump’s dangerous tilt towards authoritarianism,” Merkley, a member of Senate Democratic leadership, said from the Senate floor.
He said Trump’s attacks on the media and those who oppose his policies are out of line with the belief that the government “derives its power and authority from the people” and argued that the president has “inflamed people’s anger” toward immigrants and religious minorities.
“There are core strategies used by authoritarian leaders … to consolidate power. There are strategies that are incompatible with our construction of government, and we must call out these strategies and we must resist these strategies,” Merkley said.
Trump and top officials signaled after the election that they weren’t interested in going after Clinton for her use of a private email server while leading the State Department.
Merkley also knocked the White House for a decision last month to block some news organizations from attending a press briefing classified as an “expanded pool.”
White House press secretary Sean Spicer defended the move, noting it was his decision.
“We’re going to aggressively push back,” Spicer said. “We’re just not going to sit back and let, you know, false narratives, false stories, inaccurate facts get out there.”
Trump’s officials have also repeatedly said that they believe the administration is covered unfairly by the media.
“The narrative, the default narrative is always negative, and it’s demoralizing,” Spicer said during his first official White House press conference. “There’s this constant theme to undercut the enormous support that he has.”
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