Deputy White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Tuesday directed Americans to watch a video released by right-wing undercover video operation Project Veritas that showed a CNN health producer calling the network’s Russia coverage “bull—-.”
On Tuesday, Project Veritas released a secretly-recorded video showing John Bonifield, a CNN health editor who is not involved in Russia-related coverage, questioning the network’s decision to focus on the investigations of the Trump administration’s Russia connections, considering the lack of direct public evidence suggesting any collusion between President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign and Russia.
Several hours later, Huckabee Sanders attempted to use the producer’s opinion to condemn the media in general for reporting on the unfolding Russia investigations.
“There’s a video out there circulating right now, whether it’s accurate or not, I don’t know, but I would encourage everybody in this room, and frankly, everybody across the country to take a look at it,” she said, after referring to CNN as “that outlet.”
“If it is accurate, I think it’s a disgrace to all of media, to all of journalism. I think we have gone to a place where if the media can’t be trusted to report the news, then that’s a dangerous place for America, and if that’s the place where certain outlets are going, particularly for the purpose of spiking ratings, and if that’s coming from the top, that’s even more scary, and that’s even more disgraceful.”
The network released a statement on Tuesday defending its coverage and the producer who expressed scepticism.
The White House has been particularly critical of CNN throughout the past week.
Trump made a false claim about CNN’s ratings on Tuesday after the networ retracted a story that said Congress was investigating a Russian investment fund with ties to Trump officials, prompting the resignations of respected journalists Thomas Frank, the story’s author, as well as investigative editors Eric Lichtblau and Lex Haris.
And on Monday, White House press secretary Sean Spicer taunted CNN White House reporter Jim Acosta, implying that he was only asking aggressive questions of the administration because the cameras were rolling.
“There’s no camera on, Jim,” Spicer said.
“Maybe we should turn the cameras on, Sean,” Acosta replied, referencing the decision to hold fewer televised press briefings. “Why don’t we turn the cameras on? They’re in the room. The lights are on.”
Watch the clip:
????: “CNN stands by our medical producer John Bonifield. Diversity of personal opinion is what makes CNN strong, we welcome it & embrace it.”
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) June 27, 2017
Fake News CNN is looking at big management changes now that they got caught falsely pushing their phony Russian stories. Ratings way down!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 27, 2017
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