WASHINGTON — Ivanka Trump, President Donald Trump’s daughter and White House adviser, said she does not consider the media the “enemy of the people,” a contract to her father’s routine rhetoric about journalists.
At an event on Thursday sponsored by Axios, co-founder and journalist Mike Allen asked her whether she agrees that the media is the enemy. President Trump has used that term multiple times to describe the “fake news media.”
Ivanka Trump responded saying, “No, I do not.”
She went on to explain that she has “certainly received my fair share of reporting on me personally, that I know not to be fully accurate, so I have some sensitivity around why people have concerns and gripe, especially when they sort of feel targeted. No, I do not consider the media the enemy of the people.”
President Trump’s attacks on the media have gotten more emotional in recent weeks, as he has claimed that the media has become “totally unhinged.”
He wrote on Twitter earlier this week that “in many ways, after witnessing first hand the damage they do to so many innocent and decent people, I enjoy watching. In 7 years, when I am no longer in office, their ratings will dry up and they will be gone!”
CNN’s Jim Acosta was the target of obscenities and shouts of “CNN sucks” from Trump supporters on Tuesday as he reported from a Trump rally in Tampa on Thursday. He later wrote, “I’m very worried that the hostility whipped up by Trump and some in conservative media will result in somebody getting hurt. We should not treat our fellow Americans this way. The press is not the enemy.” A number of other journalists have expressed concerns that the animosity directed at the media will lead to violence.
At the White House press briefing on Wednesday, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked whether the administration supports such yelling at members of the media as they cover events.
“While we certainly support freedom of the press, we also support freedom of speech, and we think that those things go hand in hand,” she said.
She argued that the media has a “high level of responsibility,” and said that the “media routinely reports on classified information and government secrets that put lives in danger and risk valuable national security tools.”
As an example, she claimed that because of reporting in the late 1990s on the United States’ ability to listen in on Osama bin Laden’s satellite phone, “he stopped using that phone and the country lost valuable intelligence.”
“Unfortunately, it’s now standard to abandon commonsense ethical practices,” she said.
The Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler, the paper’s Fact Checker columnist, gave that claim about the media and Bin Laden “four Pinocchios” and noted that it was debunked back in 2005.