Less than 24 hours after President Donald Trump called for an end to “trivial fights” in Washington, D.C., Vice President Mike Pence declined to say whether the White House would end its attacks on the media.
Appearing on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Pence was asked if attacks on the media would continue and whether Trump would still to use the term “fake news.” He has frequently used the phrase to undermine stories critical of him or those he doesn’t like.
Pence didn’t make any effort to make it seem like the White House was turning the page.
“I think what you have in this president, and frankly all of us in the administration, is a willingness to call out the media when they play fast and loose with the facts,” Pence said. “I think when you see some of the baseless and fabricated stories that have come out and have been treated with great attention.”
During the presidential campaign, Trump frequently described reporters as corrupt, dishonest and disgusting. Last week, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer chose to exclude several outlets from a daily press briefing. Trump has also called the media “the enemy of the American people.”
“Morning Joe” hosts Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough pressed Pence on the president’s use of that phrase Wednesday morning, asking him if it would continue. Scarborough called it “Stalinesque.” Pence dodged the question.
“I think one of the reasons why President Donald Trump was elected is because he’s a fighter and the American people want a president who will fight for their future, who will fight for American jobs, fight to make America strong in the world again, but also he’s willing to make his case and challenge his detractors when unfair criticisms come his way,” he said.
Pence’s appearance on several networks Wednesday itself sent a signal that the White House’s feud with different outlets would continue. According to anchor Jake Tapper, the White House offered for Pence to appear on every major U.S. broadcaster Wednesday morning except for CNN.