During a press conference Thursday in which she engaged in a heated debate with CNN’s Jim Acosta, press secretary Sarah Sanders refused to answer the question of whether or not she thought the news media is an “enemy of the people.” According to Newsweek, the phrase had been uttered by President Trump in the past. During an event on Wednesday, however, Ivanka Trump, Trump’s daughter and a White House senior adviser said she did not see the press as an enemy.
After Acosta asked the question of Sanders, she began to list a “litany of complaints against the press and blamed the media for inflaming tensions in the country,” as the Washington Post reports.
“It’s ironic, Jim, that only you and the media attack the President for his rhetoric when they frequently lower the level of conversation in this country,” Sanders said. “Repeatedly, repeatedly the media resorts to personal attacks without any content other than to incite anger.”
She listed several incidents in which she was singled out in the media, and said that members of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) “are not welcomed in their place of worship” and that they have had their “personal information shared on the internet.”
Sanders also addressed the incident at the White House Correspondents Association dinner, where comedian Michelle Wolf “attacked her appearance.”
“As far as I know, I’m the first press secretary in the history of the United States that’s required Secret Service protection,” Sanders added.
Acosta followed Sanders’ message, stating that he was sorry about the jokes Wolff made at her expense and that he noticed she had still not clarified whether or not she felt the press was the enemy of the people.
“For the sake of this room, the people who are in this room, this democracy, this country, all the people around the world are watching what you’re saying, Sarah, and the White House for the United States of America – the President of the United States should not refer to us as the enemy of the people,” said Acosta, adding that even Ivanka Trump disagrees with her father’s view of the press.
This is not the first time Sanders has clashed with the news media or Acosta. As the Inquisitr recently reported, several Trump supporters hurled insults at Acosta and the news media during a rally in Tampa earlier this week. When asked by David Martosko, a reporter at the Daily Mail, about the rally and whether it was appropriate for Trump supporters “to be menacing towards journalists doing their job,” Sanders said that the media “holds a responsibility.”
She said that because the press “routinely reports on classified information and government secrets” lives have been put in danger and national security has been risked. She added that the administration encourages free press and free speech and that it is the press’ responsibility to report the news in a truthful and fair manner.
Martosko tweeted about Sanders’ statements after the press briefing, saying: “there’s a First Amendment tension between speech and press and ultimately one side must lose.”