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 TrumpAverage tax refunds down double-digits, IRS data shows White House warns Maduro as Venezuela orders partial closure of border with Colombia Trump administration directs 1,000 more troops to Mexican border 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.

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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.