By Steve Holland
TAMPA (Reuters) - President Donald Trump on Monday accused the news media of ignoring attacks by Islamist militants in Europe, without giving specific examples.
Trump, who has made defeating Islamic State a core goal of his presidency, did not specify which attacks were going unreported, which news media organizations were ignoring them, or offer details to support his claims.
"All over Europe, it's happening. It's gotten to a point where it's not even being reported," he told a group of about 300 U.S. troops at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida.
"And, in many cases, the very, very dishonest press doesn't want to report it. They have their reasons, and you understand that," he added, without saying what those reasons were.
Pressed by reporters later on Trump’s remarks, White House spokesman Sean Spicer said the Trump administration would provide a list of unreported or under-reported attacks, adding "there's several instances."
"There's a lot of instances that have occurred where I don’t think they've gotten the coverage it deserved," Spicer said.It was Trump's latest salvo against the news media, a favorite target for derision who he says broadly underestimated his chances during the presidential campaign. He has kept up the attacks since his Jan. 20 inauguration.
Trump at one point cited attacks in the French cities of Paris and Nice, which were widely covered. More than 230 people have died in France alone in the past two years at the hands of attackers allied to Islamic State.
Al Tompkins at The Poynter Institute, a Florida-based journalism school, dismissed Trump's criticism.
"To suggest that journalists have some reason not to report ISIS attacks is just outlandish," Tompkins said, using an acronym for Islamic State.
(Reporting by Steve Holland, additional reporting by Idrees Ali and Susan Heavey, writing by Phil Stewart)