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 ConwayThe Memo: Kavanaugh firestorm consumes political world Conway: Kavanaugh accuser 'should not be ignored’ George Conway rips Trump over tweet about Obama's '57 states' gaffe 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: I hope voters pay attention to Dem tactics amid Kavanaugh fight South Korea leader: North Korea agrees to take steps toward denuclearization Graham calls handling of Kavanaugh allegations 'a drive-by shooting' 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.