US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump went on a rant against the media for what he dubs unfair and dishonest coverage of his campaign on Sunday.
Trump has long been critical of the media, while simultaneously benefiting from widespread coverage of his unconvential campaign, but a New York Times article characterizing turmoil in his campaign team over his controversial statements set him off.
The candidate attacked the Times' reporting as "fiction" and said the media are protecting his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.
In a series of tweets, Trump called the media "disgusting and corrupt" and said he would be beating Clinton if the coverage were more fair.
"I am not only fighting Crooked Hillary, I am fighting the dishonest and corrupt media and her government protection process," he wrote on Twitter, echoing remarks he made at a campaign rally a day earlier.
Trump has in the past banned specific media outlets from getting credentials to cover his rallies, made fun of a reporter's disability, called out reporters at his rallies and pledged to tighten libel laws.
"It is not 'freedom of the press' when newspapers and others are allowed to say and write whatever they want even if it is completely false!" he said Sunday.
Media coverage of Trump in recent weeks has focused on a series of controversial statements, including him calling President Barack Obama the founder of Islamic State and appearing to suggest that gun-rights supporters should try to attack Hillary Clinton.
The Times wrote that repeated attempts by advisors to rein in Trump's off-the-cuff statements have failed and quoted unnamed sources as saying the candidate is "exhausted, frustrated and still bewildered by fine points of the political process and why his incendiary approach seems to be sputtering."
Trump's campaign chairman Paul Manafort said in a CNN interview Sunday that the media was not focusing on substantive policy issues, including a speech outlining Trump's economic policy last week.
"We are convinced that, contrary to the stories of The New York Times, which are not correct, ... of Trump unplugged, that Trump is very plugged in. He is very connected," Manafort said.
An average of national opinion polls by website Real Clear Politics, currently gives Clinton a 6.8 percentage point advantage over Trump.