White House press secretary Sarah Sanders battled CNN’s Jim Acosta during the press briefing Monday over President Trump’s tweets about the “fake news media” being “the enemy of the people,” leading to CNN’s PR team coming after Sanders on Twitter.
Acosta asked Sanders if Trump’s claim that the “fake news media” is the “enemy of the people” would include CNN.
“There is great anger in our Country caused in part by inaccurate, and even fraudulent, reporting of the news. The Fake News Media, the true Enemy of the People, must stop the open & obvious hostility & report the news accurately & fairly,” Trump tweeted Monday.
There is great anger in our Country caused in part by inaccurate, and even fraudulent, reporting of the news. The Fake News Media, the true Enemy of the People, must stop the open & obvious hostility & report the news accurately & fairly. That will do much to put out the flame…
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 29, 2018
“Would that include my outlet, which received bombs last week?” he asked.
“I don’t think it’s necessarily specific to a general, broad generalization of a full outlet. At times, I think there’s individuals that the president would be referencing,” Sanders said.
Acosta followed up:
So you’re not going to state for the record, then–I mean, if the president is going to say the fake news media are the ‘enemy of the people’ and if you’re going to stand there and continue to say that there are some journalists, some news outlets in this country that meet that characterization, shouldn’t you have the guts, Sarah, to state, which outlets, which journalists are the enemy of the people?
“I think it’s, irresponsible of a news organization like yours to blame responsibility of a pipe bomb that was not sent by the president–not just blame the president, but blame members of his administration for those heinous acts. I think that is outrageous and I think it’s irresponsible,” Sanders said.
“The bomber — the bomber was caught, Sarah, we didn’t say…” Acosta said, trailing off as Sanders moved on to another reporter.
CNN’s communications department then hit back against Sanders’ claims on their Twitter account.
“No @PressSec, CNN did not say @realDonaldTrump was directly responsible for the bomb sent to our office by his ardent and emboldened supporter. We did say that he, and you, should understand your words matter. Every single one of them. But so far, you don’t seem to get that,” CNN PR tweeted.
No @PressSec, CNN did not say @realDonaldTrump was directly responsible for the bomb sent to our office by his ardent and emboldened supporter. We did say that he, and you, should understand your words matter. Every single one of them. But so far, you don’t seem to get that. pic.twitter.com/ZbH5DQggWq
— CNN Communications (@CNNPR) October 29, 2018
Conservative Twitter users criticized CNN for the misleading statement, pointing out that the network’s chryons and commentators pointed to Trump as inspiring the bomber.
Laughably false. You guys have spent every day since last Wednesday offering rhetoric winks at your viewers whenever you use the word "but" as a turn of phrase to then blame the President. You've attacked conservative media and supporters as to blame. Not fooling anyone, Zucker
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) October 29, 2018
CNN quickly forgetting they ran these chyrons: pic.twitter.com/VRioz6nqOA
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) October 29, 2018
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) October 29, 2018
As Breitbart News reported last week, while CNN has repeatedly claimed that they aren’t directly blaming Trump for the bombs, the network’s coverage of the event has done just about everything to imply that Trump’s rhetoric influenced the mail bombs.
A CNN chyron aired Thursday said Democrats who received mail bombs this week are “Trump’s targets” — hours after an anchor insisted “no one’s blaming the president.”
“Manhunt For Serial Bomber Going After Trump’s Targets” read the CNN chyron at about 1:13 PM. This came after another chyron that also referred to those targeted as “Trump Targets.”
CNN also aired a chyron reading, “CNN: Trump Has No Plans To Claim Any Responsibility For Inciting Serial Bomber.”
Media reporter Brian Stelter also said last week, “There’s a lot we don’t know about these packages, but we do know what all the targets had in common: They have all been criticized mercilessly by right-wing outlets.”
There's a lot we don't know about these packages, but we do know what all the targets had in common: They have all been criticized mercilessly by right-wing outlets… pic.twitter.com/UKIw8hxs9b
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) October 24, 2018