CNN's Jim Acosta asks Sarah Sanders about Trump's comments that the media is the "enemy of the people": "You did not say ... that the press is not the enemy of people" pic.twitter.com/lRiK2YDlWv— Rogelio Garcia Lawyer (@LawyerRogelio) August 3, 2018
UPDATE: After CNN reporter Jim Acosta pressed White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on whether she considers the press “the enemy of the people,” her father, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, took to Twitter to attack the journalist.
In a series of tweets, Huckabee referred to the White House correspondent as “little Jim Acosta” and even called him a "BUG," while his daughter was “the WINDSHIELD.”
Huckabee also accused Acosta of being biased by mentioning the New York Times’ decision to hire Sarah Jeong, a technology writer who has recently been under fire for old tweets in which she criticizes white people.
Admitting he is “as objective about @PressSec as @NYTimes new hateful, racist hire," Huckabee took a stab at the publication for their controversial new employee. Yet he appeared to ignore the publication’s response, explaining that the writer was attacking people after she was attacked herself for being an Asian woman.
Later, he went on to call Acosta a child.
“Jim Acosta suffers severe nose bleed from the elevation of his high horse. Taken to safe space and provided with Play Dough, a popsicle, pictures of a pony to color and a puppy.”
Breaking wind from CNN! Jim Acosta suffers severe nose bleed from the elevation of his high horse. Taken to safe space and provided with Play Dough, a popsicle, pictures of a pony to color and a puppy. https://t.co/yLPkoRL7Bb— Gov. Mike Huckabee (@GovMikeHuckabee) August 3, 2018
It’s interesting to see Huckabee, a former pastor and president of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention, spewing so much hate in defense of his daughter.
At a time when the GOP is actively preaching civility in politics, the godly man seems to be failing as an example of decent behavior.
The POTUS — who has called the media, “an enemy of the American people”— doubled down on his comments against news outlets at his Pennsylvania rally when he called them “fake, fake, disgusting news” in an unhinged rant.
Critics have long warned Trump’s abrasive words can put journalists’ lives in danger and Acosta’s treatment at the Tampa rally was an example of just that.
Now, it seems the Trump administration is also echoing the president’s anti-media rhetoric.
In a heated clash with Acosta, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders refused to say the press is not the enemy of the people.
“I think the president has made his position known,” Sanders said. “It’s ironic, Jim, that not only you and the media attack the president for his rhetoric when they frequently lower the level of conversation in this country.”
She then went onto seemingly defend the POTUS’ comments and brought up the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner where she was made of fun by comedian Michelle Wolf.
“You brought a comedian up to attack my appearance and called me a traitor to my own gender,” Sanders said.
But Acosta was not going to back down.
“You did not say in the course of those remarks that you just made that the press is not the enemy of the people,” Acosta responded. “We all get put through the wringer, we all get put through the meat grinder in this town, and you’re no exception and I’m sorry that happened to you. I wish that had not happened.”
The journalist then told Sanders of president’s daughter Ivanka Trump’s statement where she said she didn’t consider the press “enemy of the people” and urged the press secretary to do the same.
“For the sake of this room, the people that are in this room, this democracy, this country … the president of the United States should not refer to us as the enemy of the people," Acosta said. "His own daughter acknowledges that, and all I’m asking you to do, Sarah, is to acknowledge that right now and right here.”
Sanders, however, would not budge.
"I’ve addressed this question; I’ve addressed my personal feelings. I’m here to speak on behalf of the president. He’s made his comments clear," she said.
Acosta later took to Twitter to show his disappointment in Sander’s stance.
I walked out of the end of that briefing because I am totally saddened by what just happened. Sarah Sanders was repeatedly given a chance to say the press is not the enemy and she wouldn't do it. Shameful.— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) August 2, 2018
In a later appearance on CNN, Acosta lamented the White House has “lost sight” that the press is not the enemy of the people.
Thank you, Jim Acosta, for finally referring to "Sarah Huckabee's rhetoric as "lies" just a day after liking my tweet asking you to do so. It's nice having journalists who actually care about the people they report to.https://t.co/ezE60sa5JD— William LeGate (@williamlegate) August 3, 2018
"I'm tired of this," an emotional Acosta said. "It is not right, it is not fair, it is not just. It is un-American to come out here and call the press the 'enemy of the people.'"
"Fellow Americans are not the enemy of fellow Americans," he added. "Forgive me for going on a rant, but I think that they've lost sight of that here at this White House.”
Trump has long berated the free press from his Twitter account and during his rallies, where he has repeatedly attacked the press for any negative coverage of his administration.
When the Capital Gazette newsroom shooting resulted in the killing of five media personnel, the reality of negative rhetoric against the media really hit home.
However, Trump has continued to call out media on social platforms for merely doing their jobs. Many a times, the president would launch an attack on a particular story, which would only turn out be true later.
Amid Trump’s hateful stance, Sanders has repeatedly claimed the White House supports a “free press,” however, her latest exchange with Acosta proves anything but.
Thumbnail/ Banner Credits: REUTERS/Carlos Barria/ REUTERS/Mary F. Calvert