‘We Are Not the Enemy’: WHCA President Rebukes Trump’s Anti-Media Rhetoric at WHCD

Reuters’ Jeff Mason, the president of the White House Correspondents Association, said in his speech to start the White House Correspondents Dinner tonight that they cannot ignore the anti-media rhetoric from President Trump.

Trump is not in attendance tonight––he held a rally in Pennsylvania instead––and Mason took the opportunity to speak out on the fraught relationship between the president and the press.

“We have worked very hard to build a constructive relationship with his press team,” Mason said, “and there are clear dividends from those efforts. The press is still in the White House briefing room and we are still on Air Force One. In fact, press access under President Trump has been very good.”

However, he went on to send the following message:

“We cannot ignore the rhetoric that has been employed by the president about who we are and what we do. Freedom of the press is a building block of our democracy. Undermining that by seeking to delegitimize journalists is dangerous to a healthy republic. It is our job to report on facts and to hold leaders accountable. That is who we are. We are not fake news. We are not failing news organizations. And we are not the enemy of the American people.”

Watch above, via C-SPAN.

[image via screengrab]

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Follow Josh Feldman on Twitter: @feldmaniac

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