Sarah Sanders had a testy exchange with CNN’s Jim Acosta during Tuesday’s White House press briefing, after Acosta said the press secretary doesn’t always “state the facts” from the podium.
The tense back-and-forth started after Acosta asked Sanders whether she thought there was “something wrong” with the president “mocking somebody who says she was sexually assaulted.”
Acosta was referring to a Tuesday night rally in Mississippi during which President Trump appeared to directly mock Christine Blasey Ford by casting doubt on her testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
A combative Sanders responded that the president was simply “stating facts that Dr. Ford herself laid out in her testimony,” adding that, “Once again every single word that Judge Kavanaugh has said has been looked at, examined, picked apart by most of you in this room but no one is looking at whether or not the accusations made were corroborated.”
“Are you saying Judge Kavanaugh is the victim in all of this?” Acosta asked.
“I think both Dr. Ford and Judge Kavanaugh are victims at the hands of the Democrats,” Sanders replied. “I think it is absolutely disgraceful what they’ve done and exploited this process.”
Acosta then pressed: “You don’t have a problem defending the president’s comments last night?”
“I don’t have a problem stating facts,” Sanders shot back, before adding, “I know that’s something you probably do have a problem with but I don’t.”
Acosta replied: “Actually, Sarah, we do state the facts and I think there have been many occasions where you don’t state the facts, if I may respond.”
This isn’t the first time Sanders’ credibility has been put into question by the media. Some of her statements from the White House podium have been proven wrong in the past, including one last year in which she said Trump did not dictate a false statement made to The New York Times in response to an infamous Trump Tower 2016 meeting with a Russian and Kremlin-linked lawyer involving his eldest son.
In January Trump’s legal team acknowledged that Trump had, in fact, “dictated” the first misleading statement about his son’s meeting with Russians.
Sanders later defended herself, saying she was an “honest person” whose “credibility is probably higher than the media’s,” but refused to discuss her seemingly misleading statement.
“You guys spend more of your time focused on attacking the president than reporting the news,” she told reporters.
In August, Acosta and Sanders had another heated exchange, after Sanders, prompted by Acosta, refused to say that the media was not “the enemy of the people.”