Trump said journalists are "scumbags" who "should be executed" in a private meeting with his former defence secretary according to an ex-aide.
The claim was first made by Trump's former national security advisor John Bolton in his new book The Room Where It Happened and was confirmed on Twitter by Guy Snodgrass who worked as a speech writer for former defence secretary Jim Mattis.
According to Bolton, Trump made the comment in the summer of 2019 when he was angry that anonymous White House sources were being quoted in the press criticising his administration.
He also tried to put a stop to the publication of Bolton's book with a lawsuit, but it has already been leaked to news outlets ahead of its official publication date.
Responding to the leak, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said:
Former National Security Advisor John Bolton should know all too well that it’s unacceptable to have highly classified information from the government of the United States in a book that will be published.
It's unacceptable. It has not gone through the review process, and that's where we currently stand.
Other explosive claims in Bolton's book include Trump asking China's president Xi Jinping for help winning the 2020 election and praising him for his Muslim detention camps.
He also told Turkish president Erdoğan that he would put a stop to criminal investigation into a Turkish firm in the US by replacing prosecutors with "his people" and expressed an interest in serving more than two terms as president, according to Bolton.
In spite of Trump's frustration with the media, he also knows how to use it to his advantage: his bizarre defence of Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman over the killing of Jamal Khashoggi in 2018 was a deliberate ploy to distract the press from the story that Ivanka used her personal email for government business, something he said Hilary Clinton should be in jail for doing, Bolton wrote.
Trump firmly denies these claims, tweeting that Bolton's book is "made up of lies & fake stories".
Despite this, Trump is clearly rattled by the book, attempting to sue Bolton for trying to publish "classified information".
The American Civil Liberties Union has commented that the lawsuit is "doomed to fail".
If all goes smoothly, the book will be officially published on 23 June.