The current US administration will continue using the phrase "fake news" as long as the media "continues attacking Donald Trump", one of his assistants has said.

The Republican's team has faced criticism for using the term "fake news" to describe a variety of news, much of which is critical of the president.

A deputy assistant to Trump, Sebastian Gorka, said in a radio interview with Michael Medved reported by The Week: "There is a monumental desire on behalf of the majority of the media ... to attack a duly elected president in the second week of his term.

"That's how unhealthy the situation is and until the media understands how wrong that attitude is, and how it hurts their credibility, we are going to continue to say: 'Fake news'! I'm sorry, Michael. That's the reality."

Trump has had an ongoing battle with the mainstream media, claiming throughout his election campaign and since his inauguration that he has been unfairly targeted.

Following his inauguration, the president's team hit out at media organisations that reported Trump had drawn a smaller crowd than Barack Obama did at his inauguration, although the media backed up their story by showing photographs of the crowds at both events side by side.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer claimed that the media had lied about the size of the crowd, despite pictures and figures from D.C. Metro suggesting the opposite. Spicer even claimed it was the largest inauguration crowd in history.

Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway then defended Spicer's comments by suggesting he had presented "alternative facts", prompting widespread ridicule and mockery on social media.