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Reporter Hammers Sarah Sanders Over Trump Rallygoers Harassing Acosta: ‘Does The White House Support That?!’

During today’s White House press briefing, Sarah Huckabee Sanders got in a fiery clash with a reporter over President Donald Trump‘s supporters heckling and shouting at CNN’s Jim Acosta.

During live shots yesterday, Acosta was shouted at by Trump supporters yelling things like “CNN sucks!” Eric Trump tweeted in support of what the protesters were doing, and President Donald Trump retweeted the sentiment.

The Daily Mail‘s David Martosko first asked about the fringe groups that were spotted at the Tampa rally last night before asking, “Is the White House willing to say right now, in view of what happened to one of our TV colleagues last night, that it is wrong for his most vocal supporters to be menacing towards journalists doing their jobs in a situation like that or any situation?”

Sanders said Trump “condemns and denounces any group that would incite violence,” but instead of addressing the behavior of the rallygoers last night specifically, she went on to talk about the media’s responsibility — which included a tangent about Osama bin Laden‘s phone:

“The president does think that the media holds a responsibility. We fully support a free press, but there also comes a high level of responsibility with that. The media routinely reports on classified information and government secrets that put lives in danger and risk valuable national security tools. This has happened both in our administration and in past administrations. One of the worst cases was the reporting on the U.S. ability to listen to Osama bin Laden’s satellite phone in the late ’90s. Because of that reporting he stopped using that phone and the country lost valuable intelligence. Unfortunately it’s now standard to abandon common-sense ethical practices. This is a two-way street. We certainly support a free press, we certainly condemn violence against anybody, but we also ask people act responsibly and report accurately and fairly.”

Again, that was in response to a question about Jim Acosta being heckled.

Martosko returned to the subject at hand, firing back, “No one was being violent in terms of hitting anybody and no broadcaster was broadcasting state secrets. They were trying to do stand-ups at a public rally and you had people trying to yell over them preventing them from doing their jobs and yelling that their network sucks on live TV. Does the White House support that or not?”

Sanders reiterated that the White House supports both a free press and freedom of speech.

Watch above, via CNN.

[image via screengrab]

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Josh Feldman is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: [email protected] Follow him on Twitter: @feldmaniac