Sarah Sanders Challenges CNN and Politico for Complaining About Fake News

Jim Acosta of CNN listens during the daily briefing at the White House in Washington, Wedn
AP Photo/Susan Walsh

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders showed little patience for reporters complaining about the president’s accusations of “fake news” during the White House press briefing on Thursday.

Politico’s Matthew Nausbaum started the conversation:

I’m wondering if there’s any concern in the White House that the president’s frequent use of the term “fake news” to describe mainstream outlets muddies the water a little bit and makes it harder for citizens to identify the actual fake news that the intelligence agencies have said countries like Russia used to interfere in the last election.

Sanders confirmed that the president was frustrated by stories that he considered inaccurate.

“We see a problem with any stories that are inaccurate or untruthful being presented to the American people as facts,” she said.

CNN’s Jim Acosta responded, challenging the president’s belief in the First Amendment.

Sarah, why did the president tweet this morning that he’d like to see the Senate Intelligence Committee investigate news outlets – In, I guess, this quest to go after fake news, does he value the First Amendment as much he values the Second Amendment?

“Absolutely. The president is an incredible advocate of the First Amendment,” Sanders replied. “With the First Amendment, with those freedoms also come responsibilities, and you have a responsibility, to tell the truth, to be accurate.”

Sanders cited statistics showing that only five percent of the media’s coverage was positive about the president, despite good news in the stock market, job numbers, cutting regulations and the war against ISIS.

“Frankly, those are the issues most Americans care about; not a lot of the things that you cover, not a lot of the petty palace intrigue that you spend your time on,” she said to Acosta.

Trey Yingst of One America News asked Sanders if she thought the president wanted to see the Senate Intelligence Committee investigate media organizations.

“I don’t know that that’s the case,” she said. “But I do think that we should call on all media to a higher standard.”


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