WASHINGTON — White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders battled the American press Tuesday and warned that America is in a “dangerous place” if it can’t trust the media to report the truth.
It was the first on-camera press briefing in a number of days and came after President Trump fired off a barrage of tweets that called The New York Times, The Washington Post, and CNN all “fake news.” CNN recently had to retract a story that said a Trump ally was being investigated for discussing the lifting of sanctions with a Russian banker.
This led to the resignations of three reporters. Additionally, an undercover video was released by conservative journalist James O’Keefe early Tuesday that showed a CNN producer saying coverage about Trump and Russia is “mostly bullshit.”
Huckabee Sanders referenced this video during the briefing and said, “whether it’s accurate or not I don’t know, but I would encourage everyone in this room, and, frankly, everyone across the country, to take a look at it.”
“I think if it is accurate it’s a disgrace to all of media, to all of journalism,” Sanders added. “If the media can’t be trusted to report the news then that’s a dangerous place for America.”
She complained about the continuing coverage of “this Russia-Trump hoax” and a lack of stories on “things like successes at the VA.”
“America, is frankly looking for something better. It’s looking for something more,” Sanders said. Journalist Brian Karem subsequently burst out in outrage and accused Sanders of “inflaming everyone right here right now.”
Sanders replied, “I disagree completely if anything has been inflamed it is the dishonesty that often takes place by the news media.”
She was later asked by a reporter whether the administration believes that outlets have an obligation to look at previous stories with “questionable” sourcing to see if they should be retracted. Sanders said, “I think that would be a great idea.”
The Daily Caller estimates that seven minutes of the 14-minute briefing were spent talking about the press.