White House attacks media obsession with Russia, defends Trump’s tweets
At Thursday’s White House press briefing, deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders cited a study conducted by the conservative Media Research Center (MRC), which found that the media has spent more than half of their total coverage on Trump dealing with the Russian probe.
For their study, MRC looked at all 364 evening news stories in the five weeks since former FBI Director Robert Mueller was appointed to oversee the Russia probe. MRC found that out of the 640 minutes that the media covered Trump, 353 minutes was devoted to the Russia investigation and sacked FBI director James Comey.
“That's the numbers guys, the numbers don't lie. The media’s focus on priorities, they don't line up with the rest of America,” Huckabee Sanders said.
Huckabee Sanders also blasted the media for their lack of coverage on Trump’s policies, citing the MRC study, which found that the media only spent one minute covering tax reform, three minutes on infrastructure, and five minutes on the economy and jobs.
“You can't say that you want to talk about policy and then you look at the numbers, and they just don't lie,” Huckabee Sanders said. “Right now we've got our economy is growing. The stock market is up. Unemployment is down. Jobs are back. And ISIS is on the run. America is winning, and that's what we like to talk about. But you guys constantly ignore that narrative.”
The MRC study concluded that ABC’s World News Tonight devoted nearly two-thirds of their coverage on Trump to the investigation, while The CBS Evening News and NBC Nightly News each devoted around half of their coverage to the Russia investigation. They also found that one-third of the media’s coverage related to the Russian investigation and Comey was based on unnamed sources.
The MRC did not mention several media outlets in their study, including Fox News.
Huckabee Sanders also defended Trump for a pair of tweets we posted early Thursday morning, in which he called co-host of MSNBC’s Morning Joe Mika Brzezinski "crazy" and claimed she was "bleeding badly from a face-lift" when she was at his Florida resort earlier this year.
Trump’s comments drew condemnation from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, with Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) saying it was “beneath the office” and “represents what is wrong with American politics.”
When asked if the president should hold himself to a higher standard that a cable news anchor, Huckabee Sanders argued that the American people “knew what they were getting when they voted for Donald Trump,” adding that he won the election “overwhelmingly.”
“I think that the President has been attacked mercilessly on personal accounts by members on that program, and I think he’s been very clear that when he gets attacked he’s going to hit back,” Huckabee Sanders said. “I think the American people elected somebody who’s tough, who’s smart, and who’s a fighter. And that’s Donald Trump. And I don’t think that it’s a surprise to anybody that he fights fire with fire.”
When Huckabee Sanders was asked how she would explain Trump’s behavior to her children, she said she there is only one “perfect role model.”
“I point to God, I point to my faith, and that’s where I would tell my kids to look,” Huckabee Sanders said. “None of us are perfect.”