In her first press briefing in weeks, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders slammed the “media” for blaming President Trump for Saturday’s Pittsburgh synagogue shooting and the rash of pipe bombs sent to prominent critics of the president and CNN.
Sanders began the briefing by offering sympathy to the victims of the Pittsburgh shooting. But her tone quickly became combative after ABC’s Jon Karl asked whether Trump’s invective over the past few weeks and months had “inspired or provoked” people to do “awful things.”
“The very first thing that the president did was condemn the attacks, both in Pittsburgh and in the pipe bombs,” Sanders shot back. “The very thing the media did was blame the president and make him responsible for these ridiculous attacks. That is outrageous that that would be the very first reaction of so many people across this country.”
Sanders also took issue with a Wednesday statement by CNN’s president Jeff Zucker, in which Zucker criticized the White House for its “total and complete lack of understanding” of its “continued attacks on the media.”
“A major news network’s first public statement was to blame the president and myself included,” Sanders said. “That is outrageous that anybody other than the individual who carried out the crime would hold that responsibility.”
“It’s not the president, no more than it was Bernie Sanders’ fault for the individual who shot up a baseball field of congressional Republicans,” she went on to say, referring to an incident last year when a Bernie supporter shot Rep. Steve Scalise during a Republican baseball practice.
Watch the full exchange above.