WASHINGTON – Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) condemned “alt-right media” for reporting “fake news” and criticized Fox News for “magnifying” their content.
Warren said she is worried about the overall “structure” of the media today.
Warren was asked to identify what worries her most about President Trump; she mentioned voter suppression, gerrymandering, Russian interference in the 2016 election and the judicial system. Warren expanded on her concerns about U.S. courts, saying that America has “lost one of the other guardrails we had in democracy” because the Republicans are “stacking” the federal courts and the Supreme Court.
“We always counted on the courts to be independent that they would be non-political, that’s why we did lifetime appointments to the federal courts. We counted on the fact that if somebody got too far out of line, some of the things that the Trump administration is doing, you would be able to rein them back in because the judges would say, no, that’s not constitutional or you are not following the rules that were established by earlier laws,” Warren said on a conference call Wednesday evening with Progressive Democrats of America.
“The Republicans have been stacking the courts for decades now including the Supreme Court of the United States and they have moved it to a much more pro-corporate court that really crushes the rights of individuals, crushes women’s rights, the rights of those who want to challenge big banks in court,” she added.
Warren also said she is “worried” about the state of the media in the Trump era.
“We have had a long history of an independent press that was always out there with a commitment to truth. They might not always get it right, but they would be out there to help hold officials accountable,” she said. “And now with an alt-right media that influences news stories, pumps out fake news, a Fox News that magnifies them, and then they go on the attack after mainstream media for not covering the stories that they have blown up and distorted. It worries me because I am worried overall about the structure.”
On Wednesday, Trump blasted an NBC News report that claimed he wanted a nearly tenfold expansion of the U.S. nuclear arsenal.
“Frankly, it’s disgusting the press is able to write whatever it wants to write and people should look into it,” Trump said. “I never discussed increasing [the nuclear arsenal]. That is fake news by NBC, which gives a lot of fake news recently.”
Trump wrote on Twitter, “With all of the Fake News coming out of NBC and the Networks, at what point is it appropriate to challenge their License? Bad for country!”
Warren called on Democrats to “overwhelm the system” in 2018 and 2020.
“We’ve got a president of the United States who has indicated his hostility to the courts, his derision for the press, and his sense that the only votes that matter are the votes for Donald Trump, and that means we’ve got a big problem going forward,” the senator said.
“The best way I know to fight back against that is it really is going to take all of us. We are going to have to overwhelm the system, take back the majority in the House and the Senate in 2018 and be ready to take back the White House in 2020,” she added.
Warren said fighting for a single-payer healthcare system is a “winning issue” for Democrats nationally in the 2018 midterm elections.
“Healthcare is a basic human right and that means we’re going to get Medicare for all, it means we are going to make the kind of changes we need to make in this country so everyone gets access to healthcare and nobody goes broke doing it,” she said. “I think this is about our values. It’s about what we are willing to get out there and fight for.”
Not all Democrats in Congress have shown support for single-payer healthcare, specifically efforts by some lawmakers to guarantee it in the Constitution. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) recently declined to offer support for a constitutional amendment to guarantee healthcare as a right, arguing that his priority is blocking Obamacare repeal.