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Sanders stays on message with media claims

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders answers questions at a daily media briefing.White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has refused to distance herself from US President Donald Trump’s assertions that the media is “the enemy” of the people.
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Sanders and members of the media engaged in a heated exchange during a White House briefing on Thursday with Sanders listing a series of complaints against the press while blaming journalists for inflaming tensions in the US.

“As far as I know, I’m the first press secretary in the history of the United States that’s required Secret Service protection,” she said, accusing the media of continuing “to ratchet up the verbal assault against the president and everyone in this administration.”

When pressed about Trump’s position on the issue, Sanders said Trump “has made his position known”,

CNN’s Jim Acosta, who was loudly heckled during a Trump rally in Florida on Tuesday night, implored Sanders to break from the president, who labelled the press as “enemy of the American people” last year.

“I think it would be a good thing if you were to say right here at this briefing that the press, the people who are gathered in this room right now … are not the enemy of the people,” Acosta said, adding: “All the people around the world are watching what you’re saying.”

Sanders, appearing to read from prepared remarks, responded with a critique of the press for resorting “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, CNN,” she told Acosta.

Acosta later walked out of the briefing in protest. Another reporter quickly filled his seat.

The exchange came hours after the president’s eldest daughter and adviser, Ivanka Trump, broke with her father by saying she doesn’t view the news media as “the enemy of the people”.

“I’ve certainly received my fair share of reporting on me personally that I know not to be fully accurate. So … I have some sensitivity around why people have concerns and gripe, especially when they sort of feel targeted. But no, I do not feel that the media is the enemy of the people,” Ivanka Trump said.

The president tried to minimise the divide in a tweet later on Thursday.

“They asked my daughter Ivanka whether or not the media is the enemy of the people. She correctly said no. It is the FAKE NEWS, which is a large percentage of the media, that is the enemy of the people!” he wrote.

The president regularly lashes out at news outlets and individual reporters with his attacks drawing rebukes from free press advocates, human rights experts, professional journalism associations and the publisher of The New York Times.

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