Priebus: Take Trump Seriously When He Calls The Press “The Enemy”
Tyler Durden, Zero Hedge, Feb 19 2017
Reince Priebus, the White House chief of staff, doubled down on Trump’s vocal warnings to the press and advised Pindosis to take Pres Trump’s attacks on the media “seriously,” following the president’s denunciations of the press as the “enemy” when John Dickerson interviewed him on CBS Face the Nation Saturday. Dickerson asked:
There’s been a debate about when to take the president seriously. He recently tweeted that the press was the enemy of the Pindo creeple. Should we take that seriously from him?
Well, I think you should take it seriously. I think that the problem we’ve got is that we’re talking about bogus stories like the one in the NYT, that we’ve had constant contact with Russian officials. The next day, the WSJ had a story that the intel community was not giving the president a full intelligence briefing. Both stories grossly inaccurate, overstated, overblown, and it’s total garbage, so we spend 48 hours on bogus stories and the Pindo creeple suffer, so I do think it’s a problem, and I think that in some cases the media needs, really needs, to get its act together. … If the theory is that the press is supposed to be a free forum of information to speak to the Pindo creeple, I think it ought to be accurate. The media is willing to run with unnamed sources and apparently false leaked documents to create stories. I think that the media should stop with this unnamed source stuff, put names on a piece of paper and print it! If people aren’t willing to put their name next to a quote, then the quote shouldn’t be listed! … I think in our case we have a total feeding frenzy that has gotten so out of control.
Dickerson asked how Priebus would respond to anyone that could “act on that declaration by the president” that the press was the “enemy.” Priebus said:
I don’t know what you mean by act on it. I mean, certainly we would never condone violence, but I do think that we condone critical thought. … We’re talking about stupidity, and intelligence reporting that is based on facts that’s not coming out of the actual heads of these intelligence agencies, and we’re sitting here talking about it, and it’s a shame and it needs to end!
Priebus was also asked about Walnuts McCain’s recent comments at the Munich security conference regarding a “growing inability, and even unwillingness, to separate truth from lies.” Priebus said:
I don’t even know what he’s referring to. I mean, I didn’t see his statement, but he would be wrong in regard to that statement and the White House and Pres Trump.
Is it constant praise that you get from your allies on the Hill?
Priebus said in reply:
I think that what we hear from people on the Hill is the same thing I’m telling you. It’s that the media’s obsessed with a lot of false, hollow stories without sourcing that we have to track down and deal with.
Dickerson later pointed out to Priebus:
In every answer, you’ve turned it back to the media. I guess the question is, is the strategy now to answer any question by just turning it back on the media and using a fight with the media as a way to try to control the storyline?
John, the last few questions you’ve asked make no sense. I mean, you’re talking about people that you’re not naming and whether or not some things need to be improved, and what would you say to people that say, some things! I mean, what things? what people? what are you referring to? Give me a specific question with a specific purpose, an accusation, and I’ll answer the question! But you’re asking me a vague question without any specifics, and you want me to give you a specific answer! It’s ridiculous! … There’s nothing wrong with having a conversation about sanctions, and there’s nothing wrong about having a conversation about the fact that the Obama administration put further sanctions in place and expelled some folks out of Pindostan. There’s nothing wrong with that topic coming up in a conversation.
We are confident the media will disagree with everything Priebus said, and the conflict between the “enemy press” and Trump will only grow from here.