White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders clashed with reporters Monday over a recent rash of inaccurate news stories that cast President Trump in a negative light, as reporters defended their actions as “honest mistakes.”
“You cannot say it is an honest mistake when you are putting up information that is purposefully false,” Mrs. Sanders fired back at the daily White House briefing.
A reporter accused the president of slamming “fake news” but remaining silent on disinformation spread by Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign.
“The president is calling out very direct and false allegations,” Mrs. Sanders said. “We’ve seen it time and time again over the last couple weeks. … This is a big problem and it is something that should be taken seriously.”
Mrs. Sanders also tangled with CNN’s Jim Acosta, who has often been at odds with the White House. He shouted out that reporters make “honest mistakes” and correct them, but Mr. Trump never corrects tweets and remarks that the reporter described as not factual.
“I’m not taking another question from you at this point,” Mrs. Sanders said as she attempted to call on another reporter.
Recent false reports included CNN retracting a story about WikiLeaks alerting Donald Trump Jr. to hacked email from the Democratic National Committee.
The Washington Post quickly took down a photo posted by a reporter that claimed a small crowd at the president’s campaign rally Friday in Pensacola, Florida. The photo was taken hours before the start of the event.
An ABC News report last week said the Mr. Trump directed contact with Russia before the election. It turned out it was after the election and the reporter, veteran newsman Brian Ross, was suspended because of it.
“There should be a certain level of responsibility,” Mrs. Sanders said. “It is very telling that he had to be suspended.”
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