Washington: The Trump administration wants to have a “healthy relationship” with the media, the White House has said, a day after the president’s aides said his government will “rethink” its ties with the press if it tries to ‘delegetimise’ his presidency.
“I want to make sure that we have a healthy relationship,” White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters at his first news conference.
Spicer was responding to a volley of questions from correspondents on the kind of relationship he wants to have with the media.
“You’re talking about integrity and you’re talking about telling the truth and facts. I don’t know that it wasn’t malicious at all, and I’m not saying. But there is a point at which we have a right to go out there and correct the record,” Spice said.
“Over and over again, there is this attempt to go after this president and say, well, that can’t be true and that’s not right and the numbers weren’t there. There’s a rush to judgement every time,” he said.
Spicer said, “It is a two-way street”. He said the new President wants to have a healthy and open dialogue with the press corps and with the American people about what he’s doing to help this country and to unite it.
“But in a time when he’s trying to unite this and he keeps talking about uniting this nation, bringing this nation together, and then a Tweet goes out in a pool report to a few thousand people saying that he removed the bust of Martin Luther King, how do you think that goes over?” he said.
The reporter had apologised.
Spicer said that despite backlash from the media, Trump has defied the odds over and over again.
“He keeps getting told what he can’t do by this narrative that’s out there. He exceeds it every single time. I think there’s an overall frustration when you turn on the television over and over again and get told that there’s this narrative that you didn’t win. You weren’t going to run. You can’t pick up this state,” he said.
“That’s a fool’s errand to go to Pennsylvania. Why is he in Michigan? How silly, they’ll never vote for him. A Republican hasn’t won that state since ‘88. And then he goes and he does it and then what’s the next narrative? Well, it must have been because of this. He didn’t win that.
And then people aren’t attending anything or John Lewis is the first person to skip his inauguration. Not true,” he said.
The pool report that Trump has removed a bust of Martin Luther King junior, he noted, is part of the same pattern.
“I think over and over again there’s this constant attempt to undermine his credibility and the movement that he represents,” Spicer said.
“We want to have a healthy dialogue, not just with you but the American people because he’s fighting for jobs, he’s fighting to make this country safer”, he said.
But when you’re constantly getting told that can’t be true, we doubt that you can do this, this won’t happen, and that’s the narrative when you turn on television every single day, it’s a little frustrating,” he said.
On Sunday, White House chief of staff Reince Priebus said the Trump administration will “rethink” its ties with the media if the “obsessed” press tries to “delegetimise” Donald Trump’s presidency by false reporting, asserting they will fight such coverage “tooth and nail every day”.