Reince Priebus, Donald Trump’s Chief of Staff, got into a televised fight with Fox News host Chris Wallace over the media’s coverage of Trump and his administration.
“He said that the fake media, not certain stories, the fake media are an enemy to the country. We don’t have a state-run media in this country. That’s what they have in dictatorships,” Wallace said to Priebus on “Fox News Sunday.”
“It’s not just two stories. Then, it’s followed up by 24 hours a day, seven days a week, of other cable stations, not necessarily Fox, that all day long, on every chyron, every seven minutes, they’re talking about Russian spies. Talking about the intelligence community. Talking about how me and Steve Bannon don’t like each other and what’s Kellyanne [Conway] doing. All this just total garbage. Unsourced stuff.”
Priebus also blasted a New York Times report that said members of Trump’s campaign had contact with senior Russian intelligence officials.
“I think you should in some cases, or in most cases, actually have a named source,” Priebus said about the report, which cited “four current and former American officials.”
Wallace defended Fox News’s coverage, saying the network has also covered the actions the president’s administration has taken so far.
“Here’s the problem, when the president says — that we’re the enemy of the American people, it makes it sound like if you’re going against him, you’re going against the country,” Wallace said.
“Some of these things were covered. But you get about 10 percent coverage on the fact that you had a very successful meeting with Bibi Netanyahu, the prime minister of the U.K., the prime minister of Canada…but then as soon as it was over, the next 20 hours is all about Russian spies.”
“But you don’t get to tell us what to do Reince,” Wallace shot back. “You don’t get to tell us what to do anymore than Barack Obama did.”
He added that former President Obama “whined” about Fox News, but he never said the media was an enemy of the people.
“He never went as far as President Trump has and that’s what’s concerning because it seems like he crosses a line when he talks about, that we’re an enemy of the people,” Wallace said.
“I think you should be concerned about mainstream news outlets that are acting like Washington daily gossip magazines. To accuse an organization of being in constant contact with Russian spies is outrageous. And everyday, it’s something different. It’s some other source that is absolutely untrue, instead of talking about the things that are going on.”
The president often rails on the media, referring to “fake news.” Last week, he tweeted that the “FAKE NEWS media” is the “enemy of the American people.”
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