Sarah Huckabee Sanders fields media questions in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders fields media questions in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House. MICHAEL REYNOLDS

White House secretary rips CNN despite apology, sackings

THE feud between the Trump White House and CNN has reached a fever pitch during a feisty press briefing where Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders slammed "fake news” and said Americans "deserve something better”.

Ms Sanders had been challenged on why CNN's retraction of a recent story was not sufficient for the President, who on Tuesday said on Twitter: "Wow, CNN had to retract big story on 'Russia', with 3 employees forced to resign. What about all the other phony stories they do? FAKE NEWS!”

Ms Sanders said: "I don't know if that response is good enough. It's the barrage of fake news directed at the President that has garnered his frustration ... 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.”

Ms Sanders went on to reference an undercover video allegedly showing a CNN producer knocking the network's Russia-Trump coverage.

"I encourage everyone to take a look at it,” she said.

"If it is accurate, I think it's a disgrace to all of media, to all of journalism.”

She said the media had been "going on the Russia- Trump hoax for the better part of a year now” and America was "looking for something more”.

Asked if the President expected media not to report on stories of a foreign country trying to influence the election, Ms Sanders said: "I don't think it's expected you're not to report on actual news, but I think there are a lot of things ... people would like to hear about - job growth, deregulation - those things deserve more coverage.”

She added: "If we make the slightest mistake, it is an absolute tirade from a lot of people in this room, but news outlets get to go on, day after day, and cite unnamed sources, and use stories without sources.”

Montgomery County Sentinel editor Brian J Karem accused Ms Sanders of being "inflammatory”.

"Everybody in this room is just trying to do their job,” he said.

Ms Sanders fired back, saying the problem was "the dishonesty that often takes place in the news media”.

"It is outrageous to accuse me of inflaming a story when I was trying to answer a question,” she added.

- Fox News