UT System Chancellor Bill McRaven on Tuesday night said President Trump’s recent description of the media as “the enemy of the American people” must be challenged and “this sentiment may be the greatest threat to democracy in my lifetime.”
McRaven, a retired U.S. Navy admiral, is former commander of the Special Operations Command. He made the comment during the inaugural event of the Communication and Leadership Speaker Series at UT’s Belo Center for New Media. McRaven, who has served as chancellor for two years, is also a UT journalism alumnus. During his lecture, McRaven said the country needs journalists now more than ever before and they must continue to hold others accountable.
Trump on Friday tweeted, “The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @CNN, @NBCNews and many more) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American people! SICK!”
Trump’s tweet was popular online, garnering more than 49,000 retweets and more than 156,000 likes.
McRaven was not alone in challenging Trump’s comment. Others went a step further, including Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, who responded to it by saying, “that’s how dictators get started.”