White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders refuses to say the press is not “the enemy of the people”

today concedes that his son met with Russian operatives at trump tower with Russian operatives to get dirt on his opponent.

Ben Rhodes

Verified account

3h3 hours ago
More Ben Rhodes Retweeted Donald J. Trump
I worked on the Obama campaign and we would never, ever, have held a meeting with a foreign power to “get information on an opponent.” It doesn’t happen “all the time in politics” – it’s immoral, unpatriotic and part of a broader effort that was illegal.

American political adviser and former White House staff member who served as the Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications for U.S. President Barack Obama and as an adviser on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran.

Two days ago, covering the absolutely insane Trump rally in Tampa that we were just discussing, CNN’s Jim Acosta was accosted by a crowd of belligerent, wild-eyed Trumpists.

Today, back in DC, Acosta asked White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders to state definitively, on the record, that, contrary to what Donald Trump may tell his followers, the press is not “the enemy of the people.” She refused to do so.

Acosta got up and walked out of the press briefing just after this exchange, stating that he was “saddened” by what had transpired. “Sarah Sanders,” he said on Twitter, “was repeatedly given a chance to say the press is not the enemy, and she wouldn’t do it.” This, he said, was “shameful.”

The President, shortly thereafter, went on stage in front of a Pennsylvania audience and ranted about the “fake, fake disgusting news,” calling journalist “horrible, horrendous people.”

I was going to conclude this post by saying that, if the White House didn’t stop with this ever-increasing anti-press rhetoric, someone would die… but then I remembered that they already had. It was just a little over a month ago now that five people were murdered in the Annapolis newsroom of the Capital Gazette by a man who, on social media, had sided with Donald Trump against the press. As journalist and writer David Simon, who, by the way, knew several of the victims, said at the time, “Whatever resentments were in the shooter’s head, the US President stood ready to bolster and validate it.” And that’s where were are today… just waiting for the next person, bolstered and validated by this administration, to strike against a member of the press.

These are dangerous times, especially for American journalists. And I have the utmost respect for the members of the press who continue to dig for the truth in spite of the heightened, violent rhetoric. We talk a lot in this country about how dangerous it is to be a police officer, but I suspect, in reality, the job of journalist comes with a lot more risk at this moment in American history. And it certainly isn’t helping that our President, like Hitler and other authoritarians before him, is weaving a narrative where the “lying press” and immigrants are to blame for everything bad in society. (Hitler used the phrase “Lügenpresse.”)

Oh, I should probably note that, when Sarah Huckabee Sanders refused to state that the press is not the “enemy of the people,” she did attempt to offer a reason. She said that, during the White House correspondents dinner, when members of the press laughed while Michelle Wolf made jokes about her “smokey eye”, that it had hurt her feelings. So I guess, in her mind, that justifies labeling them enemies of the people.

update: It’s getting even worse, folks… the President just tweeted the following, calling members of the press “dangerous” and “sick.”

Any member of Congress who does not stand up and say something will have blood on their hands when the next attack against a member of the press happens… and you can be sure, with the mental illness known as “Q fever” sweeping the country, that it will happen.

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  1. iRobert
    Posted August 3, 2018 at 6:05 am | Permalink

    Fortunately, there is very little actual journalism left to worry about. It has been almost entirely replaced with opinionated entertainment.

  2. iRobert
    Posted August 3, 2018 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    I hate to be the one to say it, but the dumbed-down media created this situation. Would any of the people who pretend to be journalists now ever acknowledge that? I doubt it. Why would Sanders be any different, or better. Why would you expect any more of her. She’s just doing her job within the context of this continually dumbed-down environment. So, just as the journalists don’t see it as their job to acknowledge the dramatic decay in journalism, nor the damage it has been doing, Sanders doesn’t see it as her job to be that open and forthcoming either. In a culture where there is no integrity, all you’ll ever get are these absurd stand-offs.

  3. Anonymous
    Posted August 3, 2018 at 6:28 am | Permalink

    I’m a little less cynical than you, iR, but you raise a good point. Sadly though I think that’s what current American culture demands.

  4. Chuck Todd by proxy
    Posted August 3, 2018 at 6:31 am | Permalink

    An extraordinarily disappointing moment by @PressSec just now… Her inability to acknowledge the role POTUS has played in all of this media bashing only hurts her own credibility…She had a chance to defend the institution and take the high ground and show leadership, instead..

  5. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted August 3, 2018 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    Trump never said “The Media.” He said the Fake News Media. Last night he clarified that to say “…which is a large percent of the media…” That’s true.

  6. iRobert
    Posted August 3, 2018 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    Sanders certainly could have done a much better job. Instead of being defensive and whining about her hurt feelings, she could have attempted to talk in a thoughtful way about what it is that provokes such animosity toward the ‘press’. However, she’s a person who’s chosen to be Donald Trunps press secretary. A person who makes that decision isn’t likely to be too sharp.

  7. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted August 3, 2018 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    They have to be strategic about what they reveal at what time. To just blurt out that the CIA is in control of our media could be counter-productive.

  8. iRobert
    Posted August 3, 2018 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    Does Chuck Todd ever talk about all the deregulation that this circus is meant to distract us from? I wonder how disappointing his response would be if asked about it.

    What I’ve been observing over the past several years is idiocy being encouraged and even cultivated. So it’s a bit annoying now to see people acting as if this Trump situation is some sort of departure from that path, when it’s obviously the inevitable “chickens coming home to roost.”

  9. iRobert
    Posted August 3, 2018 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    I don’t want to come across as being in agreement with anyone who comments here on Mark’s blog, because I’m certainly not in agreement with anyone’s entire set of beliefs or perceptions. I do, however, agree with some things which are stated here by each and every person who posts here.

    For example, I do think it’s pretty clear that our own intelligence agencies have set up considerable filters to what we see and hear reported in our media. That’s clear to anybody who’s actually got enough interest in the subject to go through the trouble of looking into it.

    So in that sense, I am in partial agreement with your claims regarding the CIA and manipulation of the media.

  10. iRobert
    Posted August 3, 2018 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    I wish I could have your optimism about what is going on here, HW. And I hope it doesn’t freak you out too much if things don’t go in the direction you are expecting. Politics at the national and global level is mind-bogglingly complex and ever-changing. It can be really tough to stomach.

  11. iRobert
    Posted August 3, 2018 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    If I were in Sanders position, I would have talked about the distrust and open hostility many people, including the president, have toward many in the media. I would explain that I am not going to join the game of declaring their feelings invalid.

    I’d talk about how we have to stop focusing on trying to invalidate each other’s feelings and opinions, and instead consider the reasons others feel the way they do.

    I just think she could do a lot more to defuse the situation. Talking about how she was insulted personally by a reporter just comes off as petty and weak.

  12. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted August 3, 2018 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    “Politics at the national and global level is mind-bogglingly complex and ever-changing.”

    Reading Q has been so informative about how the system works world-wide, iRobert. Give it a shot. Take your time. Learn the comms. Future proves past.


  13. iRobert
    Posted August 3, 2018 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    HW, I looked at the Qanon Twitter amount and read a bit. What are the other pages which you’d recommend looking at?

  14. iRobert
    Posted August 3, 2018 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    What happened to Iron Lung and Jean Henry? Have they given up on setting you straight, HW?

  15. EOS
    Posted August 3, 2018 at 11:24 am | Permalink


    Why is it Trumps’s responsibility to defuse the situation. 99% of MSM has attacked everything he does. For his political survival he needs to convince the majority that their biased reporting is not true. 50% of the country knows this already and the rest are convinced that MSM is honest and legitimate. The elites and internationalists control MSM, but Trump effectively uses the Internet to bypass them. I may not like Trump, but I admire his shrewd business savvy. Why isn’t it the responsibility of the media to report honestly?

  16. iRobert
    Posted August 3, 2018 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    EOS, I don’t think it’s Trump’s responsibility to defuse the situation. I just believe it would be better strategy. I dosn’t seem to me that this adversarial relationship is going to pay off for Trump in the long run.

    I agree with you that it is the responsibility of media to report honestly. I also don’t think that’s going to happen. Anything that influences large numbers of people is captured by those powerful interests seeking to take advantage of that influence. The news media could do a lot to improve though, at least to the level of quality which was the standard just a few decades ago. However, I’m not even expecting that to happen.

    My sense is that Trump is being used, and will be the patsy when he is no longer useful.

  17. John Brown
    Posted August 3, 2018 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    Abdul (oh, and Bernie Sanders) will be at Eagle Crest in Ypsi for a Rally Sunday (5ish?) and Cobo Hall earlier (3:30). Check him out if you like politicians that can think and speak coherently and aren’t weaponizing collective psychosis. He also just picked up an endorsement from The Nation.


  18. Jean Henry
    Posted August 3, 2018 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

    IRobert— I have been busy. Not on computer so not as convenient to weigh in. Plus I believe I’ve made my points. And now the whole Qanon thing is getting lots of national press. So my point all along, that confronting HW is not about just him but a much larger and dangerous movement, is being confirmed. They are all bat shit crazy but they have Hannity’s ear and so the President’s. He can justify just about any over-reach and minimize his own malfeasance to his base by playing to the deep state conspiracy. It matters. I guess we should be grateful HW alerted us to its existence and bad think.

  19. Demetrius
    Posted August 3, 2018 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

    NYT Opinion: Trump will have blood on his hands (Bret Stephens)

    ” … What can’t be ignored is presidential behavior that might best be described as incitement. Maybe Trump supposes that the worst he’s doing is inciting the people who come to his rallies to give reporters like CNN’s Jim Acosta the finger. And maybe he thinks that most journalists, with their relentless hostility to his personality and policies, richly deserve public scorn.

    Yet for every 1,000 or so Trump supporters whose contempt for the press rises only as far as their middle fingers, a few will be people like my caller. Of that few, how many are ready to take the next fatal step? In the age of the active shooter, the number isn’t zero.

    Should that happen — when that happens — and journalists are dead because some nut thinks he’s doing the president’s bidding against the fifth column that is the media, what will Trump’s supporters say? No, the president is not coyly urging his supporters to murder reporters, like Henry II trying to rid himself of a turbulent priest. But neither is he the child who played with a loaded gun and knew not what he did.”


  20. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted August 3, 2018 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

    “HW, I looked at the Qanon Twitter amount and read a bit. What are the other pages which you’d recommend looking at?”

    That’s not Q. That’s just people posting about Q. All the posts are at https://qanon.pub/?

  21. iRobert
    Posted August 4, 2018 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    Thank you, HW. I’ll take a look at it.

  22. Jean Henry
    Posted August 4, 2018 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    John Brown: buyer beware.

  23. John Brown
    Posted August 4, 2018 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    Abdul is untainted and his own unique persona. I tip my hat to your thinking and writing ability. In return please check out Michael Moore’s pitch for Abdul at the Traverse City Film Fest last night. I’m not a Facebookistanite, but it’s on there.


  24. Jean Henry
    Posted August 4, 2018 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

    I can’t stand Michael Moore. He’s a lying Asshole. But I’m cool with Sayed. I think he’s talented and he has a solid ambitious policy plan informed by experts (unlike Sanders). Still haven’t decided there. We have to win. I’m not foolish enough to think he has enough momentum to survive anti Muslim sentiment outside of the cities. He may have enough oomph to gotv elsewhere though. (See 2016) My vote will depend on my assessment of that momentum v Trumper momentum. I wish he had run for lesser office first. Whitmer is great too. And the whole bcbs thing is vastly overstated. I’m confident she won’t interfere with progress on health care reform. I don’t however think single payer is anywhere close to reality though I absolutely support it. I can tell you Bernie’s support of al Sayed is meaningless to me. I wish he had supported down ticket progressives in primaries when he was running. Still hate the guy. Really hate the way he let gamer cynics like Devine direct his campaign away from issues and into populist hate speech.
    Not letting HRC off the hook for bad strategy. I just would like to see a return to issues oriented elections, especially primaries.

  25. John Brown
    Posted August 4, 2018 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for giving Abdul a fair shake. His academic and professional accomplishments are quite impressive themselves. And I vouch for his authenticity. The islamophobic bigotry is finite, and probably only slightly worse than the sexism Gretchen would get anyways. My 2cents.

  26. iRobert
    Posted August 5, 2018 at 5:07 am | Permalink

    Abdul is closing the gap on Whitmer fast. She is losing ground, likely due in part to Schuette’s attack ads. But some of that slip is certainly due to voters discovering Abdul and his legitimacy as a candidate. She’s was down to 33% a few days ago, from 39% just a week before. Abdul is approaching 30% fast. Shri is done. He’s down below half of what either Whitmer or Abdul have.

    Schuette’s campaign certainly prefers to go up against a Muslim man in the general. Which is another reason why they began running negative ads against Whitmer already. I’m not sure that’s really better for them. It’s much easier for some numbnuts on the campaign to say or do something really stupid regarding a Muslim opponent which could go viral against them.

  27. EOS
    Posted August 5, 2018 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    Now that the MSM has discovered and targeted Q, there are too many BS posts to sort through on the Interweb channels. Watch the YouTube videos of “Praying Medic” or his Twitter feed. I just started following Q in the last couple days and have to agree with HW that at least much of it is true, perhaps some of it is wishful thinking.

  28. John Brown
    Posted August 5, 2018 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    I think Abdul has an advantage in the general. The stark choice of a competent secular intellectual powerhouse vs incompetent coporate shrill bigots should fall in his favor. I remain hopeful that the silent third of the electorate will tip toward decency.

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