The staff of the Capital Gazette took a jab at President Trump, days after a gunman opened fired in their newsroom and killed five people, The Hill reports. The staff of the Annapolis, Md., newspaper released a letter on Sunday to thank those who have offered support in the aftermath of the shooting.
“We won’t forget being called an enemy of the people,” the staff wrote. “No, we won’t forget that. Because exposing evil, shining light on wrongs and fighting injustice is what we do.”
Their comment appears to be a thinly-veiled hit at Trump’s use of the phrase to attack members of the media. Trump has used the term consistently throughout his contentious relationship with the press. Most recently, Trump rallied against NBC and CNN last month for its coverage of his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
In a letter released by the Annapolis newspaper on Sunday, staff members thanked readers for their support following the attack but also said they could not forget President Trump singling out the media as “the enemy of the people,” Newsweek adds.
“Here’s what else we won’t forget: Death threats and emails from people we don’t know celebrating our loss, or the people who called for one of our reporters to get fired because she got angry and cursed on national television after witnessing her friends getting shot.”
“We won’t forget being called an enemy of the people. No, we won’t forget that. Because exposing evil, shining light on wrongs and fighting injustice is what we do” the letter read.
In one of many rants about the state of the U.S. media, President Trump branded the “fake news media” the enemy of the American people, citing The New York Times, CNN and NBC News in a 2017 tweet that described the press as “sick,” with an updated version adding other news outlets and removing the word sick from the message.
But following the fatal Capital Gazette shooting, the President’s tone appeared to have changed. Speaking about the shooting, Trump said last week:
“This attack shocked the conscience of our nation and filled our hearts with grief. Journalists, like all Americans, should be free from the fear of being violently attacked while doing their job,” CNN reported.
But the President dodged questions about his own language surrounding the press. Jim Acosta, CNN’s chief White House correspondent, asked Trump at the press conference: “Mr. President, will you stop calling the press the enemy of the people?” The question went unanswered.
According to The Washington Examiner, the letter from the Capital Gazette also hit out at “Death threats and emails from people we don’t know celebrating our loss, or the people who called for one of our reporters to get fired because she got angry and cursed on national television after witnessing her friends getting shot.”
Signed by more than two dozen staff members, the letter featured many words of gratitude for the displays of sympathy that occurred after the shooting, as well as a determined attitude to return to work.
“We will never be the same as we were, now that Rebecca, Wendi, John, Gerald and Rob are gone,” the letter, which was signed by more than 30 people, reads. “Some day we hope to be as good again. That’s all we can do.”
Rob Hiaasen, Gerald Fischman, Wendi Winters, John McNamara and Rebecca Smith were the five individuals who died in Thursday’s attack.