“You cannot say that it’s an honest mistake when you are purposefully putting out information that you know to be false.
“Or when you are taking information that hasn’t been validated, that hasn’t been offered any credibility, that has been continually denied by a number of people.”
You’d be forgiven for thinking the above quote taken from today’s White House’s press briefing was a reporter describing Donald Trump.
But you’d be wrong.
During an unusually boisterous session, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders raised her voice and launched a tirade against CNN’s Jim Acosta after he challenged her to back up her statements about the media.
He said: “Journalists make honest mistakes and that doesn’t make them fake news.”
Sanders replied: “When journalists make honest mistakes, they should own up to them.”
When Acosta insisted they do, Sanders snapped back: “Sometimes. And a lot of times you don’t.”
At this point another reporter tried to interject but Sanders, visibly riled, said: “I’m not finished!
“There is a very big difference between making an honest mistake and purposefully misleading the American people, something that happens regularly.
“You cannot say that it’s an honest mistake when you are purposefully putting out information that you know to be false. Or when you are taking information that hasn’t been validated, that hasn’t been offered any credibility, that has been continually denied by a number of people.”
Acosta then challenged her to “cite a specific story that you say is intentionally false, that was intentionally put out there to mislead the American people”.
Sanders shot back with an ABC report by Brian Ross from earlier this month that incorrectly stated former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn was prepared to testify against Trump.
The report was corrected albeit after a number of hours.
Meanwhile, since taking office Trump has lied thousands of times, all of which have been documented.
He is also guilty of “taking information that hasn’t been validated” on a number of different occasions such as in the aftermath of terror attacks.
While he is usually silent when the perpetrator is white, he is often quick to make unverified presumptions about Islamist terror attacks.
In August Theresa May berated him after he claimed that the suspects who carried out the Parsons Green attack were known to police.
The Metropolitan Police were equally quick to dismiss Trump’s accusations that the force was aware of the attacker before the explosion, calling his comments “speculation”.
Trump also chose to attack Sadiq Khan and misquoted him after the London Bridge terror attack and use it to further his Muslim travel ban.
Khan actually said:
“Londoners will see an increased police presence today and over the course of the next few days. There’s no reason to be alarmed. One of the things the police and all of us need to do is ensure that we’re as safe as we possibly can be. I’m reassured that we are one of the safest global cities in the world, if not the safest global city, but we always evolve and review to make sure we’re as safe as we possibly can be.”
And then there are Trump’s aides, particularly Kellyanne Conway, who once invented an entire terror attack from scratch.