President Trump’s spokeswoman bashed the media for its coverage of the White House Tuesday and got into a spirited exchange with a reporter who accused her of “inflaming” the public against the press.
Deputy White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Mr. Trump has been frustrated by a “constant barrage of fake news,” citing an erroneous CNN report for which the network apologized and three journalists resigned. She then told everyone to watch a James O’Keefe video for Project Veritas that shows a CNN producer calling the Russia story “mostly bulls—t right now.”
“Whether it’s accurate or not, I don’t know,” Mrs. Sanders said of the O’Keefe video. “But I would encourage everybody in this room and frankly everybody across the country to take a look at it. I think if it is accurate, it’s a disgrace to all of media.”
She said new outlets “get to go on day after day, cite unnamed sources, use stories without sources.”
Reporter Brian Karem — a contributor to Playboy magazine — interrupted her to object to her characterizations.
“You’re inflaming everyone right here, right now, with those words you used,” Mr. Karem said, adding that the administration also has made mistakes.
“Anyone of us, right, are replaceable, and anyone of us, if we don’t get it right, the audience has the opportunity to turn the channel or not read us,” Mr. Karem told her. “You have been elected to serve for four years at least. And what you just did is inflammatory to people all over the country who see once again, the president is right, and everybody out here is fake media. And everybody in this room is only trying to do their job.”
Mrs. Sanders said she disagreed “completely” with Mr. Karem.
“I think if anything has been inflamed, it’s been the dishonesty that has taken place in the news media,” she said. “I think if anything has been inflamed, it’s the dishonesty that often takes place by the news media. And I think it is outrageous for you to accuse me of inflaming a story when I was simply trying to respond to his question.”
The sparring began when Mrs. Sanders answered a question from a reporter for Breitbart about the CNN story.