Furious White House spokeswoman accuses reporters of planting 'intentionally false' stories because of their reporting 'bias' - but can't come up with a single example
- Sarah Huckabee Sanders accused journalists of 'purposely misleading the American people'
- The White House press secretary said charged reporters with 'purposely putting out information that you know to be false'
- She refused follow-ups and cut off CNN's Jim Acosta as he scolded Sanders saying reporters make 'honest mistakes'
- President Donald Trump blasted the 'Fake News Media' as 'a stain on America'
- Seemingly inaccurate stories about Trump were published in 48-hour period
- On Friday, a CNN report implying Trump-Russia collusion was disproved
- On Saturday, a WaPo politics reporter posted a photo of a near-empty arena
- Photos later taken of the event showed that Trump's rally was actually packed
- CNN and the reporter both issued corrections for their respective errors
- Last week, ABC News' Brian Ross was suspended over a claim that reported that Michael Flynn was prepared to testify Trump 'directed him to contact Russia'
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders uncorked a furious attack on the media after news outlets had to pull back critical stories – saying reporters are 'purposely misleading the American people.'
But challenged to come up with an example she offered no cases of intentional deceit.
But in Sanders' case, she brought the attack on reporters' motives directly to a room full of correspondents.
'I'm not done!' she said as reporters tried to cut off her lecture.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders accused reporters of 'purposely putting out information that you know to be false'
Sanders escalated her attack on the media after CNN's Jim Acosta told her that 'journalists make honest mistakes and that doesn't make them fake news.'
'You cannot say that it's an honest mistake when you are purposely putting out information that you know to be false,' Sanders responded.
'There's a very big difference between making honest mistakes and purposely misleading the American people, something that happens regularly,' Sanders said.
'We've seen it time and time again over the last couple weeks,' she complained. 'A number of outlets have had to retract, and change, and rewrite, and make editors notes to a number of different stories. Some of them with major impacts including moving markets,' she observed.
Among the journalists she was referencing was Washington Post reporter Dave Weigel, who tweeted out a photo of a half empty arena after President Trump had said the Pensacola arena was packed. The photo was taken before Trump started speaking. Weigel took it down after about 20 minutes and apologized after Trump called him out in front of millions of Twitter followers.
'When journalists make honest mistakes they should own up to them,' Sanders said, as reporters shouted out that Weigel did, in fact, apologize.
'I'm sorry. I'm not finished,' Sanders said as repoters tried to interrupt
'I'm sorry. I'm not finished,' she continued. 'There's a very big difference between making honest mistakes and purposely misleading the American people, something that happens regularly,' she continued.
'You can't say – I'm not done,' she scolded reporters who tried to interrupt her.
'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 has been continually denied by a number of people including people with direct knowledge of an incident,' she continued.
She was asked why Trump came down hard on journalists for errors but not on Russia for its deliberate disinformation campaign.
Sanders said it was 'not something we're comparing the two on.' Acosta asked her to identify an example of the spread of deliberately false information.
CNN's Jim Acosta told Sanders that journalists sometimes make honest mistakes
She brought up a retracted report by ABC News correspondent Brian Ross – though she did not repeat the charge that it was a deliberate lie. 'I think that was pretty misleading to the American people,' she said.
The network had to pull back a story after Ross erroneously reported that a source claimed that a close associate of retired national security advisor Mike Flynn's was prepared to testify that Trump 'directed him to make contact with the Russians' during the course of the 2016 presidential race.
Sanders clamped down hard on reporters trying to ask follow-up questions, and told CNN's Acosta: 'Jim I'm going to say once and for all that I'm moving on to Jim Stinson,' then called on the reporter for the LifeZette site founded by conservative Trump supporter Laura Ingraham.
President Donald Trump hit out at the news media again, calling it 'out of control' just 48 hours after corrections were made from major outlets and their employees, regarding reports and photos that later turned out to be inaccurate
Trump hit out at the news media again over the weekend, calling it 'out of control' just 48 hours after corrections were made from major outlets and their employees, regarding reports and photos that later turned out to be inaccurate.
'Very little discussion of all the purposely false and defamatory stories put out this week by the Fake News Media,' Trump tweeted on Sunday afternoon.
'They are out of control - correct reporting means nothing to them. Major lies written, then forced to be withdrawn after they are exposed...a stain on America!
The tweet came on the heels of major outlets such as CNN and The Washington Post posting corrections on stories and photos that were revealed to be incorrectly reported.
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Trump (pictured Friday) called the media 'a stain on America' following a 48 hour period that included a disproved report over an e-mail that appeared to show Trump-Russia collusion and sharing of a photo that misrepresented the size of a rally crowd
Sanders went after ABC's Brian Ross, who was suspended after an inaccurate report about the Russia probe
On Friday morning, a seemingly explosive CNN report indicated that the media outlet had obtained confirmation that an e-mail was sent to the Trump campaign, as well as to prominent Trump family members, offering a decryption key and link to a large quantity of hacked Democratic National Committee e-mails.
According to CNN's sources, the e-mail was sent on September 4, 2016, nine days prior to when the hacked documents were made public by WikiLeaks.
The date of the e-mail appeared to indicate that the Trumps had been offered special and advance access to the hacked DNC e-mails, which suggested that the e-mail was a noteworthy piece of evidence in the Trump-Russia collusion investigation.
Hours after the CNN report surfaced, The Washington Post, which had obtained a copy of the actual e-mail, revealed that the date stamp on the e-mail was actually September 14, 2016 - the day after WikiLeaks had made the hacked e-mails public via a Twitter link, meaning that the sender of the e-mail was merely pointing the Trump campaign to widely available information.
In other words, the email - one of thousands Donald Trump Jr had turned over to a House Intelligence Committee investigating Russian interference into the 2016 Election - revealed nothing.
By 12.46pm on Friday, CNN had started to issue corrections about the story, both online, via social media and on air. The network cited the fact that multiple sources had confirmed the incorrect September 4 date, but that the CNN reporter had not actually seen the e-mail itself.
Following CNN's correction of the disproved e-mail date story, Trump called CNN 'Fake News' in a pair of tweets, wondering if the report was due to 'gross incompetence'
Trump, who had been in Pensacola, Florida, for a rally on Friday, triumphantly took to Twitter on Saturday to post a pair of tweets crowing about how 'Fake News CNN' had been 'caught red handed.'
'Fake News CNN made a vicious and purposeful mistake yesterday,' Trump tweeted at 5.02am Saturday, while wondering if the e-mail date report was due to 'gross incompetence' at the network.
Twenty minutes later, Trump tweeted, 'CNN'S slogan is CNN, THE MOST TRUSTED NAME IN NEWS. Everyone knows this is not true, that this could, in fact, be a fraud on the American Public. There are many outlets that are far more trusted than Fake News CNN. Their slogan should be CNN, THE LEAST TRUSTED NAME IN NEWS!'
On Saturday morning, Trump tweeted about how his Florida rally was 'packed to the rafters'
Shortly after, Washington Post reporter Dave Weigel tweeted out a picture of the arena that made it appear as though the rally was sparsely attended
A photo taken during the rally showing that the arena was, indeed, 'packed to the rafters'
Trump quickly tweeted out pictures showing the full crowd at the rally and demanded an apology from Weigel, as well as his employer, the Washington Post
On Saturday, responding to Trump's tweet about how his Pensacola, Florida, rally had been 'packed to the rafters' with supporters, Washington Post reporter Dave Weigel, using his personal Twitter handle, posted a photo of a barely populated arena in a seeming effort to disprove Trump's words.
'Packed to the rafters,' Weigel quipped of his phony photo.
That tweet, naturally, went viral as it called to mind other instances in which Trump had seemingly overstated crowd attendance at events, such as his inauguration, which photographic evidence apparently provided otherwise.
At 2.01pm, Trump lashed out with a set of his own photos, showing that the venue was, in fact, truly 'packed to the rafters'.
Weigel, Trump tweeted, 'put out a phony photo of an empty arena hours before I arrived @ the venue, w/ thousands of people outside, on their way in. Real photos now shown as I spoke. Packed house, many people unable to get in. Demand apology & retraction from FAKE NEWS WaPo!'
Weigel quickly apologized on Twitter, writing at 2.04pm, 'Sure thing: I apologize.' He went on to say that he deleted the empty-looking crowd photo and had been 'confused' into thinking it represented rally attendance during the speech due to the fact that Trump could be seen in the bottom right corner.
Trump responded to the apology effort by demanding that Weigel be fired from his job at the Washington Post, a news outlet that Trump has frequently taken aim at.
The disproved e-mail and crowd size story came just one week after ABC News suffered embarrassment over a report regarding former national security adviser, Michael Flynn.
ABC News investigative reporter Brian Ross said in a report that aired the morning of December 1, that a source claimed that a close associate of Flynn's was prepared to testify that Trump 'directed him to make contact with the Russians' during the course of the 2016 presidential race.
At around 6.30pm that day, however, Ross was on-air issuing a 'clarification' that the source had explained it wasn't until after the election that 'President-elect Trump asked [Flynn] to contact Russia on issues including working together to fight ISIS.'
ABC News suspended Ross for four weeks without pay following the incident.
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