US President Donald Trump has defended his use of social media in a series of tweets, following a row over comments he made about two MSNBC TV presenters.
“My use of social media is not presidential – it’s modern day presidential,” he tweeted on Saturday.
Earlier in the week, the president launched a crude personal attack on Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough.
His tweets were condemned by Democrats and Republicans alike, despite the White House springing to his defence.
Mr Trump’s aides have previously expressed concern over his tweets.
But the president said on Saturday that social media gave him the opportunity to connect directly to the public, bypassing the mainstream media, whose content Mr Trump regularly labels as “fake news”.
“The FAKE & FRAUDULENT NEWS MEDIA is working hard to convince Republicans and others I should not use social media,” he tweeted, adding: “But remember, I won the 2016 election with interviews, speeches and social media.”
Mr Trump also stepped up his attack on CNN after the US news network retracted an article alleging that one of the president’s aides was under investigation by Congress.
“I am extremely pleased to see that @CNN has finally been exposed as #FakeNews and garbage journalism. It’s about time!”
The story that caused the upset, which was later removed from the website following an internal investigation, resulted in the resignations of three CNN journalists: Thomas Frank, investigative unit editor and Pulitzer Prize winner Eric Lictblau and Lex Harris, who oversaw the investigations unit.
Mr Trump has repeatedly called CNN “fake news” and has previously labelled Buzzfeed a “failing pile of garbage”. At a news conference in February, the president was introduced to the BBC’s North America editor, Jon Sopel, to which he responded: “Here’s another beauty.”
Meanwhile, addressing military veterans at the John F Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington on Saturday, Mr Trump promised that America would “win again”, prompting cheers from the crowd as he attacked media outlets.
“The fake media is trying to silence us, but we will not let them,” he said at the Celebrate Freedom Rally. “The fake media tried to stop us from going to the White House. But I’m president, and they’re not.”
The US president has more than 33 million followers on Twitter. Although it is becoming seemingly more difficult for the president to shock this audience, his 140-character posts have been condemned by both politicians and commentators.
Some consider the language used by Mr Trump as unsuitable for the holder of the highest office. On Friday, the New York Post published a three-word editorial on Mr Trump’s tweets: “Stop. Just stop.”
It followed the president’s tweets on Thursday mocking MSNBC Morning Joe host Mika Brzezinski, saying she had been “bleeding badly from a facelift” when he saw her six months ago.
He also verbally attacked her co-host and partner, Mr Scarborough, describing him as “psycho Joe”.
Ms Brzezinksi and Mr Scarborough hit back, accusing the president of an “unhealthy obsession” with them”. They alleged the White House had tried to blackmail them into apologising for their show’s negative coverage of President Trump.
Senator Lindsey Graham said Mr Trump’s remarks were “beneath the office” of president, while fellow Republican Ben Sasse said “this isn’t normal and it’s beneath the dignity of your office”.
Despite the criticism, President Trump stepped up his attack on Ms Brzezinksi on Saturday, calling her “dumb as a rock”.