Mike Huckabee's daughter had another "Wow" moment Tuesday at the White House Press Secretary's podium.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the principle deputy White House press secretary, was filling in for Sean Spicer—who is also now handling communications director duties—on the same day the Veritas Project's newest investigative piece on "fake news" came out. And the liberal mainstream media members of the White House Press Corps were playing the victim card.
Sanders would have none of it.
What ensued was a meltdown of epic proportions as the White House officially plugged James O'Keefe's video, liberals insisted there's no such thing as bias in their reporting and conservatives kept stoking the fire with their own questions. The fun times begin immediately following Secretary of Energy Rick Perry's discussion of Energy Week (see the video clip above).
Charlie Spiering of Breitbart News asked if the apologies from CNN over its now-retracted story about collusion between President Donald Trump and Russian bankers "wasn't enough." Sanders said the president's comments on Twitter were directed more toward the entire load of fake news articles published against him and his administration, and the year-long focus on the "Russia Narrative" that has yet to produce a single shred of evidence of collusion between the Trump 2016 campaign and the Russian government.
"You point to that report; there are multiple other instances where that outlet that you referenced has been repeatedly wrong and had to point that out or be corrected," she said. "There's a video circulating now, whether it's accurate or not I don't know, but I would encourage everybody in this room, and, frankly, everybody across the country to take a look at it. I think if it is accurate, I think it's a disgrace to all of media, to all of journalism.
"I think that we have gone to a place where if the media can't be trusted to report the news, then that's a dangerous place for America. And I think if that is the place that certain outlets are going, particularly for the purpose of spiking ratings, and if that's coming directly from the top, I think that's even more scary and certainly more disgraceful. And I hope that that's not the direction we're headed. I hope that outlets that have continued to use either unnamed sources, sometimes stories with no sources at all—we've been going on this Russia-Trump hoax for the better part of a year now with no evidence of anything.
"Things like the success at the VA barely get covered. They may get covered for an hour at a time, but this story gets covered day in, day out. And I think America is, frankly, looking for something better. They're looking for something more. And I think they deserve something better from our news media."
Spiering asked if that meant the president didn't want the press asking questions about legitimate news topics, such as evidence that Russia wanted to infiltrate the 2016 elections. Sanders repeated the White House's only concern was with regard to fake news.
"I think that there are a lot of things happening in this world that, frankly, a lot of people would like to hear about—whether it's job growth, whether it's deregulation, whether it's tax reform, healthcare," she said. "I think a lot of those things deserve a lot more coverage than they get.
"And all we're saying is I think that we should take a really good look at what we are focused on, what we are covering and making sure that it's actually accurate and it's honest. If we make the slightest mistake, the slightest word is off, it is just an absolutely tirade from a lot of people in this room. But news outlets get to go on day after day and cite unnamed sources, use stories without sources, have—you mentioned the Scaramucci story—where they had to have reporters resign."
Liberals in the room were instantly triggered. Brian Karem of Sentinel Newspapers attempted to shout down Sanders with a "Come on!" followed by a rant about journalists just doing their jobs and how she was inflaming the situation with her comments.
And, again, she would have none of it.
"I disagree completely," she said. "First of all, I think if anything has been inflamed it's the dishonesty that often takes place by the news media. And I think it is outrageous for you to accuse me of inflaming a story when I was simply trying to respond to his question."
Toward the end of the press briefing, Sanders was again asked about the CNN article, as well as a February article from The New York Times that many believe it may have been based on and that was later refuted by former FBI Director James Comey. The reporter asked if the White House felt there were other stories that should be retracted.
"There have been many by The New York Times that I would probably disagree quite a bit with," she said. "I think you could take it pretty straightforward that this administration disagrees with all of the stories that claim that the President and his campaign colluded with Russia in any capacity.
"So I think he's been extremely clear that he believes that's a hoax and certainly something that's not true and didn't take place. And any story related to that you would I think find frustration from this team here ...
"I certainly don't think that you would get arguments from us if there were retractions from outlets on fake stories. But I also think that there's a moment where we can all do better, and I certainly think that's what we strive to do every day.
"And hopefully that's the goal—I know it is—of many, and hopefully it will continue to be of not just the news media but everybody involved in the process to continue to do better, to continue to strive for excellence, and to continue to deliver the best we can for the American people."
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