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Donald Trump Just Explained Why He Calls the Media 'the Enemy of the People' and Reporter Perfectly Clapped Right Back to His Face

President Donald Trump defended his attacks on the press as the "enemy of the people" in an exclusive interview with Axios set to air on Sunday.

Jim Van de Hei challenged the president on the risks of his charged rhetoric.


"To be honest, what scares the crap out of me is if you're saying... 'enemy of the people,' 'enemy of the people,' what happens if someone gets shot?" Van de Hei asked Trump.

"They like me more because of it," Trump boasted. "But if you gave me false reports, I would say that's not a good thing for our country," Trump added after Van de Hei asked Trump if he sees Axios as an "enemy of the people."

The exchange continued:

"You are the most powerful man in the world," Van de Hei said to Trump, who smirked at the compliment. "And if you say that word — 'enemy,' 'enemy,' 'enemy' — think about what enemy means."

"I think I'm doing a service [by attacking the press] when people write stories about me that are so wrong," Trump responded. "I know what I do good and what I do bad. I really get it, OK? I really get it better than anybody in the whole world."

"Tens of thousands of people go into a stadium to listen to you, and then people go on social media and they get themselves so jazzed up," reporter Jim Van de Hei pressed. "There’s got to be a part of you that's like: 'Dammit, I'm scared that someone is gonna take it too far.'"

"It's my only form of fighting back," Trump told Van de Hei. "I couldn’t be here if I didn't do that.”

Van de Hei threw Trump's answer right back in his face.

"You won!" Van de Hei exclaimed. "You have the presidency!"

Watch the clip below:

Social media tore into Trump for not being able to take any sort of criticism.

Trump didn't appear to care or appreciate the weight that his rhetoric carries.

Trump's transparent lack of self-awareness is concerning.

People have actually been shot. Bombs were mailed to Trump's political adversaries.

Anything short of direct praise is seen as an attack.

Trump loves attacking the press.

Not featured in the clip above was Trump blaming the press for his hostility and complaining that the recent wave of white nationalist attacks has disrupted Republican momentum heading into the midterms.

"If they would write accurately about me, I would be the nicest president you've ever seen," Trump said. "It would be much easier. It's much easier ... for me to be nice than it is for me to be the way I have to be."

Axios's interview airs Sunday at 6:30 P.M. on HBO.