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WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump criticized the major television networks on Tuesday as “fakers.”

Trump tweeted that the “‘Fakers’ at CNN, NBC, ABC & CBS have done so much dishonest reporting that they should only be allowed to get awards for fiction!”

The president is also defending the Sinclair Broadcast Group following news reports about a video of dozens of Sinclair news anchors reading a script expressing concern about “fake stories.” Sinclair owns nearly 200 local TV stations and has ordered its anchors to read a statement expressing concern about “one-sided news stories plaguing the country.”

Trump tweeted that “The Fake News Networks, those that knowingly have a sick and biased AGENDA, are worried about the competition and quality of Sinclair Broadcast.”

Sinclair, a conservative-leaning company and one of the country’s largest owners of TV stations, has previously come under fire from federal regulators for failing to disclose paid programming. Last year, the Federal Communications Committee slapped Sinclair with a $13.4 million fine for not properly identifying some content as ads, including news stories on a cancer foundation that were paid for by the foundation.

Sinclair also has pushed to ease regulation of the broadcast industry and approve its plan to buy Tribune Media, a move that would dramatically increase the company’s reach.