WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland’s president has thanked President Donald Trump for fighting “fake news,” saying his own country experiences the power of fake news “first hand.”
President Andrzej Duda voiced his thanks to Trump in English on Twitter Thursday, a day after the U.S. leader revealed his promised “fake news awards.”
In his tweet, Duda wrote that Trump “just stressed again the power of fake news. Thank you. We must continue to fight that phenomenon. Poland experiences fake news power first hand. Many European and even U.S. officials form their opinions of PL (Poland) based on relentless flow of fake news.”
One of the “awards” went to Newsweek for reporting that Duda’s wife, Agata Kornhauser-Duda, did not shake hands with Trump during a visit to Warsaw last summer. In fact, she briefly avoided Trump’s outstretched hand as she reached out to shake the hand of U.S. first lady Melania Trump, but she did shake Trump’s hand afterward.
Critics say Trump’s attacks on what he calls “fake news” are attacks on media freedom that embolden authoritarian leaders around the world.
Duda’s tweet comes as Poland faces sharp criticism from the European Union over new laws that increase the ruling party’s control over the judiciary.
While the Polish government says the laws are needed to clean up a corrupt judicial system, the EU has threatened sanctions against Poland because it says the laws violate fundamental democratic values.