Kasich: The media is 'an important part of democracy'

Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) in an interview Sunday pushed back on President Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpIvanka Trump pens op-ed on kindergartners learning tech Bharara, Yates tamp down expectations Mueller will bring criminal charges Overnight Cybersecurity: Equifax security employee left after breach | Lawmakers float bill to reform warrantless surveillance | Intel leaders keeping collusion probe open MORE’s criticism of the press, saying the news media is a “such an important part of democracy.”

Kasich said on CNN's "State of the Union" that while he doesn’t always agree with the press, their role is “vital” and necessary to “hold people accountable.”

Kasich recalled a recent meeting with Ohio reporters in which he praised their work.

"I said, I applaud you for following the facts and reporting a story, even at times when it is not easy," Kasich said.

Kasich’s comments on Sunday follow Trump’s description of the news media an “enemy of the American People” in a tweet on Friday.

"I have great respect for the press. I was once in the press," Kasich, who dropped out of the Republican presidential race last May, said on Sunday.

Trump has regularly called the media "fake news" or even "the opposition party." In recent tweets, he has urged Americans to disregard any reports that are critical of his administration.