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Sarah Huckabee Sanders was given multiple opportunities during a media briefing on Thursday to say the press is not enemy of the American people. She declined.
Instead, the White House press secretary pointed out times she felt she had been wronged by the press, including bringing up the previous White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner at which comedian Michelle Wolf poked fun at her.
“As if she agrees with Trump that press is ‘enemy of the people,’ Sarah Sanders reads off list of what she says were personal attacks by the media against her, including WH correspondents dinner: The WHCA ‘brought a comedian up to attack my appearance,'” David Nakamura of The Washington Post tweeted.
President Donald Trump has called the press the “enemy of the people” several times.
CNN’s Jim Acosta, who asked Sanders point-blank to make the declaration, said via Twitter he was disgusted with Sanders’ position. “I walked out of the end of that briefing because I am totally saddened by what just happened. Sarah Sanders was repeatedly given a chance to say the press is not the enemy and she wouldn’t do it. Shameful,” Acosta tweeted.
Trump and Sanders have been critical of both Acosta and CNN in the past, with Trump calling the network “fake news” repeatedly and tweeting about its ratings often.
Following the briefing, Twitter was ablaze with reaction.
“I’ve represented members of the media from multiple outlets. I’ve represented left-leaning outlets who go after Trump. I represented right-leaning outlets that trained fire on Obama and Hillary. They’re not the enemy of the people. @PressSec should be ashamed of herself,” tweeted Bradley P. Moss, a national security lawyer and occasional commentator.
“An extraordinarily disappointing moment by @PressSec just now…,” tweeted NBC News’ Chuck Todd. “Her inability to acknowledge the role POTUS has played in all of this media bashing only hurts her own credibility…She had a chance to defend the institution and take the high ground and show leadership, instead..”
Recently, Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, said she did not believe the press was the enemy when asked about her father’s comments. Trump addressed that in a tweet on Thursday.
“They asked my daughter Ivanka whether or not the media is the enemy of the people. She correctly said no. It is the FAKE NEWS, which is a large percentage of the media, that is the enemy of the people!” he tweeted.
Watch the briefing below.
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