No @PressSec, CNN did not say @realDonaldTrump was directly responsible for the bomb sent to our office by his ardent and emboldened supporter. We did say that he, and you, should understand your words matter. Every single one of them. But so far, you don’t seem to get that. pic.twitter.com/ZbH5DQggWq— CNN Communications (@CNNPR) October 29, 2018
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders got into a heated exchange with CNN that took an unprecedented turn when it got to social media.
Sanders fielded questions in a White House press briefing on Monday, speaking about the recent slew of domestic terrorism in the United States. CNN posted a clip on Twitter, showing her contentious exchange with the network's reporter Jim Acosta, who has come under personal attack from the president himself before.
They spoke about the president's renewed fury at CNN, which he has once again referred to as "the enemy of the people," just days after the outlet's office was sent a pipe bomb.
"If the president is going to say that the 'Fake News Media' are the enemy of the people, and if you're going to stand there and continue to say that there are some journalists, some news outlets in this country that meet that characterization, shouldn't you at least have the guts, Sarah, to state which outlets, which journalists are the enemy of the people?" Acosta said.
Huckabee's response remained vague, though she paraphrased CNN's reporting in it.
"I think it's irresponsible of a news organization like yours to blame responsibility of a pipe bomb that was not sent by the president," she said. "Not just blame the president, but blame members of his administration for those heinous acts. I think that is outrageous and I think it's irresponsible."
CNN's public relations Twitter account posted the clip with a fierce response to Sanders, who jumped to another question before Acosta could respond in the moment.
"No @PressSec, CNN did not say @realDonaldTrump was directly responsible for the bomb sent to our office by his ardent and emboldened supporter," it read. "We did say that he, and you, should understand your words matter. Every single one of them. But so far, you don't seem to get that."
Sanders did not respond to the call-out on Twitter, though the president did post something that seemed to be related later on.
CNN and others in the Fake News Business keep purposely and inaccurately reporting that I said the “Media is the Enemy of the People.” Wrong! I said that the “Fake News (Media) is the Enemy of the People,” a very big difference. When you give out false information - not good!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 30, 2018
"CNN and others in the Fake News Business keep purposely and inaccurately reporting that I said the 'Media is the Enemy of the People,'" he wrote. "Wrong! I said that the 'Fake News (Media) is the Enemy of the People,' a very big difference. When you give out false information - not good!"
In the aftermath of mail bomb attacks, this Twitter scuffle and other fiery statements represented some historic developments in politics within the United States. While President Trump has eschewed conventional decorum since before he was elected, CNN has only just begun to respond in kind. After the outlet's New York City office was attacked last week, CNN President Jeff Zucker released another statement condemning President Trump's rhetoric.
Statement from CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker: pic.twitter.com/OXyIT6oSLT— CNN Communications (@CNNPR) October 24, 2018
"There is a total and complete lack of understanding at the White House about the seriousness of their continued attacks on the media," it said. "The President, and especially the White House Press Secretary, should understand their words matter. Thus far, they have shown no comprehension of that."