Conway: 'I don't believe journalists are the enemy of the people'

Conway: 'I don't believe journalists are the enemy of the people'
© Greg Nash

White House counselor Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne Elizabeth ConwayDem criticizes newest calendars for Trump Interior chief as 'fake' Bush economics director says psychiatrists labeled Trump 'total narcissist' Hatch Act complaints jumped nearly 30 percent Trump's first year in office: report MORE said Sunday she does not believe journalists are the "enemy of the people," pushing back on the label frequently used by President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump rips Dems' demands, impeachment talk: 'Witch Hunt continues!' Nevada Senate passes bill that would give Electoral College votes to winner of national popular vote The Hill's Morning Report - Pelosi remains firm despite new impeachment push MORE amid escalating tensions between the White House and the press.

Conway was asked on CBS's "Face the Nation" about Trump's tweet earlier Sunday in which he accused journalists of “purposely” causing “division & distrust” in the country, adding that they can "cause war."

"What wars have journalists started?" host Margaret Brennan asked Conway.

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Conway said that Trump's tweet should not be used to paint with a broad brush, but criticized the media for not focusing enough on the positives at the president's recent rallies, where supporters regularly jeer the press at Trump's urging.

Conway argued Trump wants the press to provide the public with "news they can use."

"I don’t believe journalists are the enemy of the people," she said. "I think some journalists are the enemy of the relevant and the enemy of the news you can use."

The president has had a tense relationship with the media since he hit the campaign trail in 2015. He frequently labels coverage he dislikes "fake news" and has threatened to pull press credentials, and the White House last week barred a CNN reporter from covering an open press event.

Trump frequently whips his supporters into a frenzy at campaign rallies, urging them to jeer reporters in attendance. He has recently taken to describing the press as the "enemy of the people."

Conway said Sunday, however, that she believes "the temperature needs to be dialed down overall."

In the face of repeated criticism for its hostile rhetoric toward journalists, his press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and the White House have insisted they support a free press.