White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders tangled with CNN’s Jim Acosta at the daily press briefing Thursday, accusing the network and other media of waging personal attacks against President Trump and herself.
In a lengthy, stormy exchange, Mrs. Sanders said journalists are complaining about the president calling them “the enemy of the people,” but they won’t accept responsibility for leveling attacks against administration officials and the president.
“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 told Mr. Acosta. “Repeatedly, the media resorts to personal attacks without any content other than to incite anger.”
The exchanged ended with Mr. Acosta walking out of the briefing and tweeting that he thought Mrs. Sanders‘ performance “shameful.”
During the press briefing, Mrs. Sanders noted that she is the first White House press secretary to require Secret Service protection, and she blamed the media in part.
“The media has attacked me personally on a number of occasions, including your own network; said I should be harassed as a life sentence, that I should be choked,” Mrs. Sanders continued. “ICE officials are not welcomed in their place of worship, and personal information is shared on the internet.”
A restaurant owner in Virginia asked Mrs. Sanders and her family to leave recently, saying the employees opposed the administration’s policies.
At the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner last spring, she said, “you brought a comedian up to attack my appearance, and call me a traitor to my own gender.”
At the dinner, comedian Michelle Wolf ridiculed Mrs. Sanders, seated nearby on the dais, as the character Aunt Lydia in “The Handmaid’s Tale,” who brainwashes other women. She also called her “Uncle Tom, but for white women who disappoint other white women.”