Monday’s press briefing saw Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders handing CNN’s Jim Acosta his own behind over erroneous reporting.
The exchange began when a reporter brought up Dave Weigel’s false report of the crowd size at Trump’s Pensacola, Florida, rally. Weigel apologized and deleted the offending tweet, but that didn’t stop Trump from pointing out Weigel out by name and calling for his firing from the Washington Post.
“There was nothing more than an individual trying to put their bias into their reporting and something that, frankly, has gotten a little bit out of control,” Sanders said. “We’ve seen it time and time again over the last couple of weeks. A number of outlets have had to retract and change and re-write and make editor’s notes to a number of different stories, some of them with major impacts including moving markets. This is a big problem and we think it’s something that should be taken seriously.”
Acosta suggested to Sanders that while reporters make “honest mistakes,” it doesn’t warrant Trump’s popular accusation of calling news outlets “fake news.”
“You cannot say it’s an honest mistake when you’re purposely putting out information you know is false,” Sanders interjected as Acosta tried to move on.
The two launched into a back and forth, raising their voices over one another. Sanders, however, eventually silenced Acosta and proceeded to educate him on what “fake news” actually is.
“There’s a very big difference between making honest mistakes and purposefully misleading the American people. Something that happens regularly. You can’t say—” she began.
Acosta attempted to interject again, but he was quickly shut down by Sanders.
“—I’m not done,” said Sanders. “You cannot say that it’s an honest mistake when you are purposely putting out information that you know to be false or when you’re taking information that hasn’t been validated, that hasn’t been offered any credibility, and that has been continually denied by a number of people including people with direct knowledge of an instance.”
Sarah Sanders claims that news outlets are intentionally reporting inaccurate information pic.twitter.com/1JucC5kL0S
— Axios (@axios) December 11, 2017
Acosta attempted to ask the question he was originally going to ask, but Sanders repeatedly denied him and moved on to another reporter.
“I’m not going to respond to your question,” she said, selecting a different reporter.