UN Human Rights Chief Slams Trump's Attacks on the Media as Dangerous

'Because it also has a demonstration effect, other leaders in authoritarian settings will do same thing'

President Donald Trump, August 4, 2018.
Carolyn Kaster/AP

The UN rights chief said on Monday that U.S. President Donald Trump bears "a heavy responsibility" for how the media is portrayed and that his remarks could have a knock-on effect that make the situation for journalists more difficult in other countries.

"To label the press in this way is very worrisome," Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein said in an interview before his four-year term ends.

"Because it also has a demonstration effect, other leaders in authoritarian settings will do same thing. We've seen now how they mimic President Trump and so what could already be a difficult situation in other countries becomes even more difficult for the press to operate and for journalists to uncover stories and for lawyers to do their work and for human rights defenders to do their work," Zeid said.