(CNSNews.com) - Secretary of State Mike Pompeo expressed frustration on Friday with reporters who don’t report the truth, echoing President Donald Trump’s earlier comments that certain reporters are unfair in their reporting.
During the White House press briefing with the coronavirus response team, PBS Newshour White House Correspondent Yamiche Alcindor asked Pompeo what message it sends to other countries when the president lashes out at reporters."
“I have had my frustrations with reporters too. All I ask when I talk to the media is that you listen to what we say and report it accurately. It's frustrating. It's frustrating. It's enormously frustrating. We have a responsibility to tell the American people the truth, and those who are reporting on what it is we’re doing and saying have an equal responsibility to report accurately, Pompeo said.
The secretary said he’s had “multiple occasions” dealing with inaccurate reporting about the State Department.
“I’ve seen many things about the State Department be reported wildly inaccurately on multiple occasions. I have spoken to those reporters each and every time, and I will continue to do so,” Pompeo said.
Earlier in the press conference, President Donald Trump lashed out at NBC White House Correspondent Peter Alexander for suggesting that Trump was giving people “false” hope over the potential of a malaria drug to treat COVID-19.
"Is it possible that your impulse to put a positive spin on things may be giving Americans a false sense of hope?" Alexander asked.
"No, I don't think so,” Trump said. “It may work. It may not work. I feel good about it. That's all it is, just a feeling. I'm a smart guy. I feel good about it, and you’re going to see. You’re gonna see soon enough, and we certainly have some very big samples of people.
"If you look at the people, there are a lot of people that are in big trouble, and this is not a drug that obviously I think I can speak from a lot of experience, because it has been out there for over 20 years. So it’s not a drug that you have a huge amount of danger with. It’s not like a brand-new drug that has been just created that may have an unbelievable, monumental effect like kill you," he said.
"We’re going to know very soon, and I can tell you, the FDA is working very hard to get it out. Right now, in terms of malaria, if you want it, you can have a prescription. You get a prescription, and by the way-- and it's very effective. It works. I have a feeling you may-- and I am not being overly optimistic or pessimistic. I sure as hell think we have to give it a try. Let's see what happens. We have nothing to lose. You know the expression. What the hell do you have to lose?" the president added.
"So what do you say to Americans who are scared though. I guess nearly 200 dead, 14,000 who are sick, millions -- as you witnessed -- who are scared right now. What do you say to Americans who are watching you right now who are scared?" Alexander asked.
"I say that you are a terrible reporter,” Trump said. “That's what I say. I think that's a very nasty question, and I think that's a very bad signal that you're putting out to the American people. The American people are looking for answers, and they’re looking for hope, and you’re doing sensationalism and the same way that NBC and Con-cast. I don't call it Comcast. I call it Con-Cast.
“Let me just tell you something. That's really bad reporting, and you ought to get back to reporting instead of sensationalism. Let's see if it works. It might, and it might not. I happen to feel good about it, but who knows? I've been right a lot. Let's see what happens,” the president said. “You ought to be ashamed of yourself.”
CNN White House Correspondent Kaitlan Collins later asked Trump, “You see yourself as a wartime president right now, leading the country through this pandemic that we are experiencing. Do you really think going off on Peter, going off on a network is appropriate when the country’s going through something like this?”
“I do,” Trump said, “because I think Peter is -- you know, I have dealt with Peter for a long time, and I think Peter is not a good journalist when it comes to fairness.”
“He was asking about your message to the country,” Collins said.
"I think it’s a good message, because I think the country needs to understand that there is indeed -- whether we like it or not, and some of the people in this room won’t like it - there is a lot of really great news and great journalism, and there's a lot of fake news out there, and I hear it all, and I see it all, and I understand it all, because I'm in the midst of it,” the president said.
“So when somebody writes a story or does a story on television, and I know it's false. I know it’s fake, and when they say they have 15 sources have said -- and I know there's no sources. There’s no sources. They are just making it up. I know that, and I called Peter out,” Trump said.
“I call other people out too, and this is a time to come together, but coming together is much harder when we have dishonest journalists. It's a very important profession that you're in. It's a profession that I think is incredible. I cherish it, but when people are dishonest, they truly do hurt our country,” he added.