When President Donald Trump denounced several news organizations as "the enemy of the American people," even some of his sympathizers thought he had gone too far. Not Rush Limbaugh, though.
"I think that there's something to it," Limbaugh said Sunday during an interview with Fox News anchor Chris Wallace.
"They're enemies of Trump, and Trump won the election on substance. Trump did more interviews, he explained his agenda more than any political presidential candidate ever has in my memory, and he has tried to stick to it as people perceive it," he added. "And this effort to stop him, this is what people conclude -- anti-American, anti-this. It clearly is anti-Trump."
It was a rare live television interview for Limbaugh, who hosts the most listened-to radio program in the country. For decades, he has acted as both a conservative standard-bearer and a lightning rod for controversy, wielding enough influence to shape the Republican agenda and making comments that infuriate liberals.
In contrast to many other conservative commentators, Limbaugh was receptive to Trump's unconventional presidential campaign from the start. Limbaugh especially delighted in how Trump marginalized the press.
"They, for the first time in a long time, feel utterly powerless," Limbaugh said of the news media in December of 2015. "And it's really frustrating because they can't not cover him. They can't ignore him. They have to if they hope to have or maintain whatever audience they've got now. They're really in a bind."
On Sunday, Limbaugh returned to that point, saying Trump has a "wide berth" to enact his policy agenda.
"The media did not make Donald Trump, and they can't destroy him," Limbaugh said. "But the media thinks -- and when I say media, let me define: ABC, CBS, NBC, New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, LA Times, that cadre -- they have a formula, they have a blueprint for destroying Republican political officials they don't like. It's not going to work on Trump. He doesn't fit that mold. They're trying to everyday. It's kind of comical to watch."
Limbaugh said that's partly due to the deep reservoir of trust Trump has built with his most loyal supporters. Those voters, he said, have no qualms with the president's most scathing attacks on the news media.
"Trump has a connection with his voters that most politicians don't have," Limbaugh explained. "I understand it perhaps better than anybody in media. And that connection that he has is not anything that anybody else can break. Only he can break it."