The US is committed to a free press, the White House said, on Thursday, after President Donald Trump threatened to revoke media credentials of news channels over continued "negative" coverage of his administration
The US is committed to a free press, the White House said, on Thursday, after President Donald Trump threatened to revoke media credentials of news channels over continued “negative” coverage of his administration. During her daily briefing, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders was asked how the suggestion of taking American journalists’ press credentials away was an advocacy for a free press in the country.
“We’re very committed to a free press. I think that we demonstrate that every single day, not only by me being up here and taking your questions as I’m doing right now. “The fact that I’m standing here taking questions, the fact that the President took questions from your colleagues just two hours ago demonstrates this White House’s commitment to accessibility and to providing information to the American public,” she told reporters.
“The President did it (took questions from the press) just a couple of hours ago and has made multiple sets of remarks and will be in front of the press later tonight as well,” she added. Expressing his anguish over the continued “negative” coverage of his administration, President Trump had yesterday threatened to revoke media credentials of news channels.
“The Fake News is working overtime. Just reported that, despite the tremendous success we are having with the economy & all things else, 91 percent of the Network News about me is negative (Fake),” Trump had rued in a tweet. The White House Correspondents Association took a strong exception to his remarks, which, it said would be an assault on the First Amendment of the American Constitution – that ensures freedom of speech or of the press.
“Some may excuse the president’s inflammatory rhetoric about the media, but just because the president does not like news coverage does not make it fake. A free press must be able to report on the good, the bad, the momentous and the mundane, without fear or favour,” Margaret Talev, president of White House Correspondents Association said. “And a president preventing a free and independent press from covering the workings of our republic would be an unconscionable assault on the First Amendment,” Talev said.
While Sanders expressed the government’s commitment for a free press, she underlined the media’s responsibility to put out accurate information “The press has a responsibility to put out accurate information. On Wednesday, the New York Times accused the Secretary of State of being AWOL (Absent Without Official Leave) when he was flying across the globe to bring three Americans home. That is an outrageous claim,” Sanders said. “Just earlier this week, The Washington Post accused the First Lady of not living in the White House. That outrageous claim was then repeated again in this room,” she said. “We are here. We are taking questions. We are doing everything we can to provide regular and constant information to the American people. And there is a responsibility by you guys to provide accurate information. We are going to continue to try to work with you, as I’m doing right here, right now, and as the President did just a couple of hours ago,” Sanders said.