TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) - Rickard, former US intelligence linguist, made the remarks in an interview with Press TV on Wednesday while commenting on the top UN human rights official’s warning that Trump’s relentless attacks on the media could trigger violence against journalists and undermine freedom of the press.
At a speech in Arizona last week, Trump defended his response to a white supremacist-organized rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, and criticized US news outlets for what he considered a biased coverage of the violence.
Trump described the journalists who had covered the story as being "truly dishonest people".
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein said derogatory remarks by Trump about journalists could lead to “dangerous consequences.”
“Unfortunately, with Donald Trump you do have a very dangerously irresponsible president. It’s horrific to see the kind of situation he’s put the American public in. That is very reckless. Under this, I will have to agree with UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Mr. al-Hussein,” Rickard told Press TV.
“After being said this, there is also really no freedom of press in the United States. At one point actually I do agree with Donald Trump on the case that the press is very ‘highjacked’ in the United States by political agendas as well as by military and commercial agendas in the United States,” the analyst stated.
“I don’t agree with Donald Trump’s actions whatsoever. I certainly don’t agree with his approach at describing the problem. And, there is no freedom of press in the United States. It is obviously a corporation that works for the individuals who can afford to pay for them,” he added.
“And at the same time I also wanted to say that Donald Trump acted incredibly irresponsibly by superseding the conviction that was put on sheriff Joe Arpaio.
Obviously this is an individual who is abusing his authority… by sending that message and pardon, even before sentencing – Arpaio had not even sentenced to death,” the expert said.
“Basically he’s sent the message to the Justice Department that the executive department of the ex-governor is not respecting their authority. And that is basically how it goes for Donald Trump. It’s really his way or the highway. You’ve seen one of the most tumultuous administrations of history of the United States, at least in my lifetime,” Rickard noted.
On Friday, Trump pardoned former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was convicted of criminal contempt in a racial profiling case for using hard-line tactics against undocumented immigrants. The pardon spared the controversial official a jail sentence, Presstv reported.
The move drew outcry from civil rights groups, which accuse Arpaio of violating the Constitution in his crackdown on immigration, and faced backlash from the president’s opponents and members of his own Republican party.