In a tense press briefing showdown, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders declined to acknowledge that the media is not Public Enemy No. 1.
CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta confronted Sanders over her claim that President Trump is "rightfully frustrated" when he calls the press "the enemy of the people," as he did in a July tweet.
Acosta presented Sanders with the opportunity to "say right now and right here" that the people in the room are not actively working against the American people, but Sanders merely said that "the president has made his position known."
"It's ironic that not only you in the media attack the president for his rhetoric when they frequently lower the level of conversation in this country," Sanders said, accusing the press of using "personal attacks" to "incite anger" and "ratchet up the verbal assault against the president."
Acosta pressed on, pointing out that her response did not include an utterance of respect for the Fourth Estate. While he apologized for negative coverage that offended Sanders, he reminded her that "people around the world are watching what you're saying" about the media. Sanders again opted to side with Trump's combative tone, simply saying she had made herself clear and that she speaks on the president's behalf only.