State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert reminded a CNN reporter on Thursday that President Donald Trump too has freedom of speech when he criticizes the media.
CNN's Michelle Kosinski responded to Nauert speaking on World Press Freedom Day about press freedoms to ask if Trump undermines free press in the United States when he refers to some media as "fake news."
"You had a whole lot to say about press freedom, basically speaking to the world on that," Kosinski said. "So when the President of the United States and those around him repeatedly say the words ‘fake news,’ isn't that disinformation?"
"We've discussed this as well. You and I have had many exchanges on this, and that's part of the beauty of a free press and the beauty of a First Amendment, when people can say what they want," Nauert said. "You don't have to agree with it, others don't have to agree with it, but that is certainly within [the president's] own right to do."
Nauert reminded Kosinski what an absence of press freedoms truly looks like, pointing out journalists in the room from Turkey and Afghanistan to exemplify countries where it's not uncommon for journalists to be thrown in prison or harassed.
"So because that's not happening here, the White House lying and saying ‘fake news’ is a better deal?" Kosinski asked.
"Look, it's the right of the free press and of the president, and he has the right to speak his mind and has a right to be concerned about stories that he feels are inaccurate," Nauert said.