Sarah Huckabee Sanders Attacks CNN for "Outrageous" Bomb Threat Response

Sarah Huckabee Sanders - July 21, 2017 -Getty-H 2017
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Sanders called out a statement made by CNN president Jeff Zucker as "outrageous" and "irresponsible."

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, giving her first on-camera press briefing since Oct. 3, attacked the media and claimed that her boss, President Donald Trump, was blamed both for Saturday's massacre in Pittsburgh and the pipe bombs that have been mailed to Democratic politicians and CNN.

"The very first thing that the president did was condemn the attacks, both in Pittsburgh and in the pipe bombs," she said Monday at the White House. "The very thing the media did was blame the president and make him responsible for these ridiculous attacks. That is outrageous that that would be the very first reaction of so many people across this country."

Without naming the network, Sanders attacked CNN for a statement issued by its president, Jeff Zucker, who said last Wednesday that "there is a total and complete lack of understanding at the White House about the seriousness of their continued attacks on the media."

"A major news network's first public statement was to blame the president and myself included," she said. "That is outrageous that anybody other than the individual who carried out the crime would hold that responsibility."

Sanders continued her attack on CNN's response when she was asked by chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta if his employer is among the news organizations her boss considers "fake news."

"I think it's irresponsible of a news organization like yours to blame responsibility of a pipe bomb that was not sent by the president," she told Acosta. "Not just blame the president, but blame members of his administration, for those heinous acts. I think that is outrageous and I think it's irresponsible."

Sanders first attacked the media during a pool spray with reporters last Thursday, a day after CNN's New York office was evacuated after a pipe bomb was found in the Time Warner Center's mail room.

"Yesterday, the very first thing that the president did was come out and condemn the violence," Sanders said last week. "The very first thing your network did was come out and accuse the president of being responsible for it. That is not OK. The first thing should have been to condemn the violence.”

CNN morning anchor Jim Sciutto disagreed sharply with Sanders, saying on air, "What the press secretary of the White House said there is not true."