Ivanka Trump rejected her father's accusation that the media is "the enemy of the people." Hours later, Donald Trump doubled down on his attacks at a fiery rally, calling the media "fake, fake disgusting news."
US President Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka Trump appeared to distance herself Thursday from her father's ongoing attacks on the US media. The first daughter said she did not believe the media was "the enemy of the people" as the US president has repeated many times on Twitter.
Ivanka Trump made the comments during an appearance at a conference in Washington organized by online news outlet Axios.
Ivanka serves as senior advisor at the White House and has had an active role in her father's administration. She has traveled overseas representing the US, attended meetings with visiting heads of state, and advocated for certain policies, such as paid family leave.
"I'm really passionate about the work that I'm doing here and I'm really committed to it," she said about her work in politics.
Ivanka Trump was cautious to elaborate on her views on the media. She said that she had received her fair share of reporting that she deemed to not be fully accurate and that for this, she had "some sensitivity around why people have concerns and gripe" when they feel targeted by the media. But despite this, she reiterated that she did not feel that the media was the enemy of the people.
Trump fires back
The differences between father and daughter were on display hours later, when the president tweeted about her answer to the question on whether the media was the enemy of the people.
"She correctly said no. It is the FAKE NEWS, which is a large percentage of the media, that is the enemy of the people!" Trump retorted, maintaining his claim that most media outlets were fake news and the enemy.
Confronted by reporters at the White House, spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders stood by the president and did not disavow the "enemy of the people" label.
A heated exchange followed, with Sanders listing her grievances against the press, blaming the media for inflaming tensions in the US and accusing it of continuing "to ratchet up the verbal assault against the president and everyone in this administration."
Jim Acosta of broadcaster CNN, a media outlet that is routinely cited by the president as "fake news," shot back at Sanders, citing the multiple times he has been heckled at Trump rallies. Acosta eventually walked out of the White House briefing in protest.
By Thursday evening, President Trump doubled down on his attacks on the media during a fiery rally with supporters in the state of Pennsylvania, calling the press "fake, fake disgusting news."
"What ever happened to the free press? What ever happened to honest reporting?" Trump asked, pointing to the media in the back of the room. "They don't report it. They only make up stories," Trump said.
"Only negative stories from the fakers back there," the president declared.
Backlash over media attacks
The president has beencriticized for his treatment of the media both at home and abroad. On Thursday, the UN rapporteur for freedom of expression, David Kaye, and his counterpart at the Organization for American States, Edison Lanza, expressed concern about the consequences of Trump's tirades against the media.
"These attacks run counter to the country's obligations to respect press freedom and international human rights law," the statement read.
"We are especially concerned that these attacks increase the risk of journalists being targeted with violence."
Kay and Lanza said Trump's attacks on the press were aimed at raising doubts about verifiable facts, and accused the president and his administration of seeking to undermine reporting on potential illegal conduct.
jcg/rt (Reuters, dpa, AP, AFP)