WH: ‘We’re Very Committed to a Free Press’

By Melanie Arter | May 9, 2018 | 11:06pm EDT
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders (Screenshot)

(CNSNews.com) - The same day that President Donald Trump suggested taking away press credentials from certain members of the media, the White House defended its commitment to a free press.

In a tweet Wednesday, Trump expressed frustration over the claim that porn star Stormy Daniels’ lawyer made on NBC News that Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen tried to sell access to Trump.

"The Fake News is working overtime. Just reported that, despite the tremendous success we are having with the economy & all things else, 91% of the Network News about me is negative (Fake). Why do we work so hard in working with the media when it is corrupt? Take away credentials?" Trump tweeted.

“The president today on Twitter suggested stripping journalists of their press credentials. Is that a line that, as press secretary, you would be willing to cross?” a reporter asked White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders Wednesday.

“I'm standing up in front of you right now taking your questions. I think a number of you have mentioned both off air -- or on air or in private, in a number of occasions, that this is one of the most accessible White Houses,” Sanders said.

“We're very committed to a free press, and I think that we demonstrate that every single day, not only by me being up here and taking your questions as I'm doing right now. The president did it just a couple of hours ago and has made multiple sets of remarks, and will be in front of the press later tonight as well,” she said.

“How is the suggestion of taking American journalists' press credentials away advocating for a free press in this country? Those two do not go together,” the reporter asked.

“The fact that I'm standing here taking questions, the fact that the president took questions from your colleagues just two hours ago demonstrates this White House's commitment to accessibility and to providing information to the American public,” Sanders said.

The press secretary said it’s the media’s responsibility to report accurate information and pointed to a New York Times report accusing Secretary of State Mike Pompeo of being AWOL when he was really securing the release of the three Americans from North Korea. She also pointed to a Washington Post report, which accused first lady Melania Trump of not living in the White House.

“At the same time, the press has a responsibility to put out accurate information. Just yesterday, the New York Times accused the Secretary of State for being AWOL -- AWOL -- when he was flying across the globe to bring three Americans home. That is an outrageous claim,” Sanders said.

“Just earlier this week, The Washington Post accused the first lady of not living in the White House. That outrageous claim was then repeated again in this room,” she added.

“We are here. We are taking questions. We are doing everything we can to provide regular and constant information to the American people, and there is a responsibility by you guys to provide accurate information, and we're going to continue to try to work with you, as I'm doing right here, right now, and as the president did just a couple of hours ago,” Sanders added.

“We wouldn't be able to ask these questions that you're here to answer without these credentials,” the reporter said.

“And you are. So you're clearly sitting right here asking them right now,” Sanders said.


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