Reporter Lesley Stahl explains why Trump constantly slams the media

Donald Trump and Lesley Stahl.
Donald Trump and Lesley Stahl. Photo credit: Getty

A US journalist has described the moment US President Donald Trump told her he routinely makes fun of the press to "discredit" stories about him.

Speaking at a Deadline Club Awards Dinner on Monday evening (local time), veteran journalist Lesley Stahl said she questioned the President about his attitude to the media shortly after he was elected.

Since before the election, Mr Trump has used social media - particularly his Twitter account - to accuse the media of spreading lies and "fake news".

An investigation from news website Axios found between his inauguration and October 2017, Mr Trump attacked the media 88 times, compared to 38 attacks on Democrats and 12 on Republicans.

"I said, 'You know, that is getting tired. Why are you doing this? You're doing it over and over. It's boring and it's time to end that'," Ms Stahl said.

But she was shocked by Mr Trump's alleged response: that it was a tactic to sow disbelief.

"He said, 'You know why I do it? I do it to discredit you all and demean you all so that when you write negative stories about me, no one will believe you'," she said.

"He said that."