Tuesday’s White House press briefing included a heated exchange between Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and a reporter.
Sanders was answering a question about the White House’s expectations for reporters when she scolded the press for using unnamed sources. She pointed out that the administration is expected to be accurate, lest they face “an absolute tirade from a lot of people in this room.” Yet news outlets, she said, get to “go on day after day and cite unnamed sources.”
As she mentioned the three CNN journalists forced to resign over an inaccurate report on Russia, she was interrupted by Brian Karem, a reporter from Sentinel Newspapers.
“Come on, you’re inflaming everybody right here, right now, with those words,” Karem said. “Any one of us are replaceable, and any one of us, if we don’t get it right, the audience has the opportunity to turn the channel or not read us. You have been elected to serve four years at least — there’s no option other than that.”
Karem went on defending the press, stating, “We’re in here asking you questions. You’re here to provide the answers and what you just did is inflammatory to people all over the country who look at it and say, ‘See, once again, the president’s right, and everybody else out here is fake media.’ And everybody in this room is trying to do their job.”
Sanders fired back, stating, “I disagree completely. I think if anything’s been inflamed, it’s often the dishonesty that takes in the news media. And I think it’s outrageous for you to accuse me of inflaming a story when I was simply trying to respond to his question.”
Before the exchange, Sanders said “the constant barrage of fake news directed at this president” was frustrating to Trump. She invited “everybody in this room and frankly everybody across the country” to watch the new video released by Project Veritas, which seems to confirm that at least one CNN producer felt that the Russia story was more about making money for the network than about being accurate.
“There’s a video circulating now — whether it’s accurate or not I don’t know,” Sanders said before recommending it. “I think if it is accurate I think it’s a disgrace to all of media, to all of journalism,” she continued. “I think that we have gone to a place where if the media can’t be trusted to report the news, then that’s a dangerous place for America.”
You can watch the exchange between Sanders and Karem below, and the full briefing follows:
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