White House press secretary Sarah Sanders defended President Donald Trump on Tuesday, saying that she had no problem when Trump singles out female journalists for tough criticism.
“The president is certainly not singling out women and frankly I think it is actually a detriment when we do that,” Sanders told Politico White House reporter Eliana Johnson during the website’s Women’s Leadership Summit on Tuesday.
“Women wanted to be treated equally and we have a president that certainly does that. He is not going to hold back and the people in this country elected him in large part because he’s a fighter.”
Sanders passed on answering a question from Johnson about whether Trump’s behavior toward journalists of all genders was appropriate, and turned the question back on the press.
“I don’t always find the behavior of the press to be appropriate either,” Sanders said. “The president is somebody who’s a fighter. When he gets hit he always hits back and I think that the people of this country knew exactly who Donald Trump was and they came out and 63 million Americans voted for him.”
For years, Trump has been accused of sexism, and bragged about groping women on a hot mic while on set at “Access Hollywood” at the height of his fame as host of “The Apprentice.” Trump has been accused by multiple women of sexual misconduct — which he has categorically denied.
After taking office, Trump has often been tough on male reporters — like CNN’s Jim Acosta — but his treatment of women has been heavily scrutinized. In the past, he has made disparaging comments about the physical appearance of Megyn Kelly and Mika Brzezinski. Trump has also accused CNN’s Abby Phillips of asking “stupid” questions and slammed another female White House correspondent, April Ryan, a “loser.”