White House counselor Kellyanne Conway is splitting with President Donald Trump, saying she doesn't think the press is the 'enemy of the people' but is clarifying the president wants the media to give people 'news they can use.'
'I don't believe journalists are the enemy of the people,' she said Sunday morning on CBS' 'Face the Nation.' 'I think some journalists are the enemy of the relevant, and are enemy of the news you can use.'
Trump has repeatedly railed against the 'fake news media,' calling them the 'enemies of the people.'
The president ramped up his rhetoric toward what he calls 'Fake News' to new levels on Sunday morning.
In an early morning tweet, he was claiming he provides a 'great service' to America by pointing out the failings of the media, the president again labeled the free press the 'Enemy of the People' who 'cause great division and mistrust'.
'The Fake News hates me saying that they are the Enemy of the People only because they know it's TRUE,' he wrote.
'I am providing a great service by explaining this to the American People. They purposely cause great division & distrust.'
'They can also cause War! They are very dangerous & sick!'
His tweet quickly became the subject of the Sunday morning public affairs shows where some of his advisers attempted the cool the fires that have flared up between Trump and the media that covers him.
'What wars have journalists started?' CBS News host Margaret Brennan asked Conway.
'I think the president's entire point is this: We do have a news media that includes some reporters so this should not be a broad brush stroke by any means,' she said. 'I've said it before, his daughter has said it, and I know the president believes it's not all, that's why he said it refers to those who aren't always telling the truth and who are giving emotion over information, who are talking more about their own egos than doing every man interviews.'
She noted there 'is a growing swath of reporters' sitting in the White House briefing room who are saying things on Twitter 'they would not get away with in print that would not pass the virulent anti-Trump editor's desk. And so I think the standards for journalists are much lower on Twitter.'
She added: 'I'm much more interested in the work of Alex Acosta than Jim Acosta,' referring to the administration's labor secretary and CNN's White House correspondent, who has been a frequent target of Trump.
'The temperature needs to be dialed down overall,' she said.
National Security Adviser John Bolton ducked answering the question directly when he was on 'Fox News Sunday,' saying an adversarial relationship is normal.
Fox News host Chris Wallace asked Bolton about Trump's tweet on media: 'What wars have we started?'
'I think the issue of press bias has been around for a long, long time,' he said.
But, Wallace countered, saying the media can 'cause war, sick, divisive, this is taking it to a whole new level.'
'That's the president's view is based on the attacks the media have made on him,' Bolton responded and cited arguments between past presidents and the press. 'I think this kind of adversarial relationship is typical.'
On CNN, which Trump frequently calls 'the worst' and who his supporters yell 'CNN sucks' at his rallies, one anchor charged the president with starting a 'hate movement.'
'Trump, and some of his allies, are promoting a hate movement against the American press,' said 'Reliable Sources' anchor Brian Stelter on Sunday morning.
Former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci said 'there's no reason to declare war against the press.'
'If you understand the First Amendment and you really understand the hits, historically, presidents have taken since the beginning of the republic, there's no reason to declare war against the press,' he said.
'You can have an adversarial relationship, you can disagree with people who are in the press,' he noted. 'I don't like the war declaration because it will lead us to something we don't really want and I've said that directly to the president.'
Earlier this week, Ivanka Trump expressed disagreement with her father's use of the phrase 'enemy of the people'.
'I have certainly received my fair share of reporting on me personally that I know not to be fully accurate,' Ivanka said on Thursday.
'So I have some sensitivity around why people have concerns and gripe, especially when they sort of feel targeted.'
'But no, I do not feel that the media is the enemy of the people.'
Trump later claimed on Twitter that he does not believe the 'media' is the 'enemy of the people', but rather the publications and networks that he has long claimed are 'fake news'.
Just hours after Ivanka's remarks, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders visibly upset journalists during a briefing when she complained about the physical dangers she has faced in her job.
Sanders spoke of her unprecedented need for Secret Service protection, and blamed the reporters in the room for causing it.
When a CNN correspondent asked Sanders if she would renounce Trump's use of the phrase 'enemy of the people' as his daughter did, she merely deflected the question.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
© Associated Newspapers Ltd.