LA Times owner: 'I would absolutely defend' news media rivals from President Trump's attacks

  • Speaking to supporters at a rally in Montana on Thursday, Trump accused media outlets of ignoring his political successes and waging a campaign to delegitimize him.
  • It follows an explosive op-ed published in the New York Times on Wednesday.
  • Speaking to CNBC's Steve Sedgwick at the Ambrosetti Forum in Italy on Friday, Patrick Soon-Shiong of the LA Times said he would be happy to stand up for news industry rivals amid repeated attacks from Trump.

The new owner of the LA Times told CNBC on Friday that he is prepared to publicly support news media rivals, amid another wave of fierce criticism from President Donald Trump.

Speaking to supporters at a rally in Montana on Thursday, Trump accused media outlets of ignoring his political successes and waging a campaign to delegitimize him. It follows an explosive op-ed published in the New York Times on Wednesday.

An unidentified Trump official said in the column that an internal "resistance" is actively working to thwart the U.S. president, taming his most destructive policies.

Speaking to CNBC's Steve Sedgwick at the Ambrosetti Forum in Italy on Friday, Patrick Soon-Shiong of the LA Times said he would be happy to stand up for news industry rivals amid repeated attacks from Trump.

"I would absolutely defend them… I think we need to defend the whole area of democracy in which these newspapers are really another Fourth Estate," Soon-Shiong said.

"And by the way I don't see them as rivals. I see them as industry compatriots, we all need to survive and we all lift each other's boats, right?" he added.

'Fabricated stories'

Trump described the New York Times article as a "gutless editorial" and later tweeted he believed it may have been treasonous.

The new owner of the LA Times, Patrick Soon-Shiong, sits down with CNBC's Steve Sedgwick at the Ambrosetti Forum in Italy on Friday 7th September, 2018.
Mike Green | CNBC
The new owner of the LA Times, Patrick Soon-Shiong, sits down with CNBC's Steve Sedgwick at the Ambrosetti Forum in Italy on Friday 7th September, 2018.

The New York Times article appeared days after the publication of excerpts from a new book by Watergate reporter Bob Woodward. The excerpts accuse Trump of being prone to making impulsive decisions and describes senior aides as taking dramatic measures to limit what they perceive to be damaging behaviour.

In a statement released on Tuesday, White House Press Secretary said Woodward's book was "nothing more than fabricated stories."