NBC’s Todd Slams WH Spox for Refusing to Condemn ‘Stalin-Era’ ‘Enemy of the People’ Slogan

Thursday on MSNBC’s “MTP Daily,” host Chuck Todd gave his take on CNN’s chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta’s unsuccessful attempts to get White House press secretary Sarah Sanders to say the press was not the “enemy of the people” at today’s briefing.

Todd said, “Tonight I’m obsessed with President Trump’s repeated Stalin-era assertion that the press is, quote, ‘the enemy of the people.’ Does he really believe that? Or is it an applause line for people like this—those who attend Trump rallies—in part because it gives him an opportunity to show reporters who is number one in their hearts when it comes to the media. It’s often up to the White House press office, of course, to clean up Mr. Trump’s statements. Sarah Sanders got that chance this afternoon when a reporter from CNN, Jim Acosta, asked her directly—is the press the enemy of the people? Here’s her response.”

Todd then played the clip of Sanders’ answer.

Sanders said,”The president has made his position known. It’s ironic, Jim, that not only you and the media attack the president for his rhetoric, when they frequently lowered the level of conversation in this country. Repeatedly the media resorts to personal attacks without any content other than to incite anger. The media has attacked me personally on a number of occasions, including your own network, said I should be harassed as a life sentence. That I should be choked. ICE officials are not welcome in their places of worship and personal information is shared on the internet.  When I was hosted by the correspondents association, of which almost all of you are members of, you brought up a comedian to attack my appearance and call me a traitor to my own gender.”

After the clip, Todd continued, “Well, talk about somebody who wants to make things about themselves. We certainly sympathize with Sanders for any unfair attacks on her. It is uncalled for, including those at the White House correspondents dinner, which most professional members of the media made that point, but she decided to leave that aside. Still, obviously she did not say no, the press is not the enemy of the people. She chose to go another way. She didn’t say a thriving democracy depends on a free and critical press and the president wants everyone, including his supporters, to know freedom of the press isn’t just any amendment, it’s the First Amendment. It doesn’t matter if you like a member of the press or not.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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