Veteran White House press secretary nails Sarah Sanders on national TV


Watch Sarah Sanders have to answer for the White House's "war on the press."

Hostility toward the free press, from Trump and his White House, has earned the administration international notoriety, and his press secretary is taking well-deserved heat for it.

During a White House Correspondents' Association forum on the press and the presidency Tuesday afternoon, former Clinton White House press secretary Mike McCurry confronted Sarah Huckabee Sanders over Trump's attacks on the free press.

"You cannot do this job in an environment in which you are belligerent and saying we're at war with these people every day," McCurry said, and added that Trump "has got to change the way he talks about the media."

Sanders made several excuses, including the "natural level of tension between the White House and the press that's always existed."

"But the difference is, we still understood and respected that they were the fourth estate," McCurry said, describing the role of the press and adding "but we did not declare war on them."

"Um, we did not declare war on the press," Sanders insisted.

"Yes, you did," McCurry said. "Yes, you did, and that's a big, big difference, and you need to roll that back."

If anything, McCurry is being generous to Trump.

He has attacked reporters to their faces, declared them the "enemy," demanded firings for exercising free speech, threatened to shut down news organizations, and incited violence against them.

But Sanders is no better than Trump in this regard. In addition to routinely lying for him and defending his incitements, Sanders has also called for firings and carried out vicious feuds with reporters.

Unfortunately, the White House seems likely to "roll back" its war on the press any time soon. Until it does, journalists and longtime political veterans like McCurry will continue to criticize Trump and the people who speak on his behalf for creating such a dangerous and hostile relationship with the fourth estate.