New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is calling the fake news coverage surrounding the deaths of two New Jersey police officers “disgusting.”
Christie told reporters Wednesday that the attack “makes it very difficult” for police to perform their job of serving the public.
The governor also defended his use of the term “fake news,” which he used to describe the stories that circulated about his administration.
Christie said the media is “failing” to properly cover the shootings.
He called the coverage “disgraceful,” and “disrespectful,” while also defending the use of “fake” news in the media.
He did not say what fake news he was referring to, but the term is used frequently in the press and has become a favorite for those trying to discredit the president.
Earlier this week, New Jersey lawmakers called for a probe into a New Jersey news outlet that published an article claiming that New Jersey State Police Officer Ryan DiBella was killed while responding to a domestic violence call.
The article, titled “NJ State Trooper Ryan DiLella Dead, Injured in Shooting in NJ,” claimed that the police officer was shot while responding after being called to a home on New York Avenue in Bergen County, N.J.
A local news outlet, the Bergen Record, published the story, as well as a report on the incident that said DiLello’s body was found at a home where he had gone to investigate a domestic dispute.
The newspaper later retracted the story.
The president of the state’s chapter of the NAACP, Margo Hickey, condemned the newspaper for publishing the article, calling it “disheartening.”
Hickey said in a statement, “This is just the latest in a long list of fake news stories that have been published by local news outlets, including the New York Post and the New Jersey Daily News.”
Christies office, however, said that the media “should be commended for its reporting and investigative work in bringing this horrific incident to light.”
“The governor will be making an official statement later today on the tragic shooting of New Jersey law enforcement officers, who are just doing their jobs,” the governor’s office said.