White House counselor Kellyanne Conway offered CNN and the media an “olive branch” on Tuesday during an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper.
Tapper, however, said the White House lies too much and rebuked the Trump administration for “declaring war” on the media.
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“Every day there are these sprays of attack and sprays of falsehoods coming from the White House. It would be better if they were not coming from the White House, for me and for you,” he told Conway.
Conway began what devolved into a contentious interview by trying to sound a conciliatory note.
“I would put an olive branch out to you and your network … how about more complete coverage?” she said. “In other words, [President Donald Trump has] issued 20 or 21 executive actions since he took office, and it seems like we’re covering one of them most days …”
Tapper insisted the media was right to only cover the immigration issue.
” … there are other stories,” Conway chided, before returning to her main theme — that the media needs to work with the White House for the greater good of the nation.
“This White House and the media have joint custody of our country for perhaps the next eight years. And count me as somebody who very much wants to find a way to make that work,” she said.
However, Conway noted the media has crossed a few lines.
“But at the same time I do have to say when we read certain words being used to describe the president of the United States, it’s never been done — it wasn’t done about President Obama. It wasn’t done about either President Bush, President Clinton. People have a certain respect for and recognition of the dignity for the office of the president,” she said.
She then stated her core message.
“I am beseeching everybody to cool it down,” she added.
Tapper did not seem mollified.
“It is difficult to hear criticism from the White House, which has such little regard day in, day out, for facts, for truth and who calls us fake news for stories that they don’t like,” Tapper responded.
Tapper also attacked Trump for claiming some terror attacks were not covered by the media.
“It’s offensive given the fact that CNN and other media organizations have reporters in danger right now in war zones covering ISIS,” Tapper said. “And I just don’t understand how the president can make an attack like that.”
Conway noted that the list the White House sent of attacks in the past three years was aimed to elevate awareness of the threat of terrorism.
Conway also told Tapper that respect “has to go both ways.”
“I sincerely don’t see a lot of difference in coverage from when he was a candidate and when he became the Republican nominee, the president-elect and indeed the president,” she said.
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