White House Tries To Dial Back Trump’s Call For Senate To Investigate Media

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders points as she begins to take questions from the media during the daily briefing in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Thursday that she doesn’t think President Donald Trump necessarily wants to see the Senate Intelligence Committee investigate American media outlets, despite Trump tweets to the contrary.

On Thursday morning Trump lashed out on Twitter at the media and the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is probing Russian meddling in the 2016 election, asking why the committee isn’t looking into “Fake News Networks in OUR country.”

When asked whether Trump believes that the Senate Intelligence Committee should investigate American media organizations Thursday during a White House press briefing, Sanders dialed back from Trump’s remarks.

“I don’t know that that’s the case,” she said. “But I do think that we should call on all media to a higher standard. … I think you have a lot of responsibility and a lot of times false narratives create a bad environment, certainly aren’t helpful to the American people and you have a responsibility to provide and report fair and accurate details. When we don’t, that’s I think, troubling for all of us.”

When asked if Trump values the First Amendment, she said the President is an “incredible advocate” of the freedom of the press, but said “with those freedoms also come responsibilities.”

She then went on to complain about the lack of positive news coverage of the administration and listed all the positive moves Trump has made since entering the White House, claiming those are the things Americans want to hear about.

“Not a lot of the things you cover, not a lot of the petty palace intrigue that you spend your time on. I think we need to move towards a certainly more fair, more accurate and frankly a more responsible news media for the American people,” she said.

Trump’s tweets were apparently in response to a Wednesday NBC report that said Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called Trump a “moron” and that he wanted to resign this summer. Both Tillerson and Trump said the report wasn’t true. NBC has stood by its reporting.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nicole Lafond is a news writer for TPM based in New York City. She is also currently earning a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University and previously worked as an education reporter at The News-Gazette in Champaign, Ill. Follow her on Twitter @Nicole_Lafond.
LIKE US ON FACEBOOK