Politics

Huckabee Sanders Stands by Calling for ESPN Anchor’s Firing, Says Network Should ‘Stick to Sports’

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders stood by her remarks that ESPN anchor Jemele Hill's attacks on President Donald Trump were a "fireable offense," adding Thursday the network should "probably stick to sports."

Hill, a "SportsCenter" anchor, tweeted Tuesday that Trump was a "white supremacist" who had surrounded himself with other white supremacists. That tweet and others attacking Trump prompted a backlash, forcing ESPN to say her remarks were inappropriate and did not reflect the network's views.

Asked about the controversy at Wednesday's White House press briefing, Sanders said from the podium that Hill's tweets constituted a "fireable offense." Sanders' comment drew criticism that it was wrong for the White House to call for the firing of a private employee for criticizing the president.

Hill did not retract her criticism of Trump but wrote Wednesday she regretted putting ESPN in a negative light. Sanders said Thursday on "Fox & Friends" she had not discussed the matter with Trump.

"I think that ESPN should probably stick to sports and leave the rest of the news to other networks, because that clearly isn't something that I think they've very good at on that front," she said.

"Well, you said yesterday it was a fireable offense," host Steve Doocy said.

"And I stand by those comments. I think it was highly inappropriate, and I think ESPN should take actions," Sanders said, adding quickly, "But I'll leave that up to them to decide, and I'll stay focused on my day job."