Press Secretary Sarah Sanders tells CNN's Jim Acosta it's a shame Democrats are having such a hard time condemning Rep. Omar's comments.
Sarah Sanders sparred with CNN’s Jim Acosta during the first White House press briefing in 42 days on Monday.
The exchange was prompted after NBC’s Hallie Jackson initially asked Sanders if Trump truly believes that “Democrats hate Jews,” following Trump's declaration last week that Democrats are "anti-Israel" and "anti-Jewish." The White House press secretary declined to answer directly, noting that the president has laid out his position on the matter in the past.
“Democrats have had a number of opportunities to condemn specific comments and have refused to do that,” Sanders said, referring to the ongoing controversy surrounding Rep. Ilhan Omar for making allegedly anti-Semitic remarks.
Sanders eventually called on Acosta, whom she has feuded with on a regular basis during past press briefings.
CNN’s chief White House correspondent opened with a question about whether Trump tried to block AT&T’s merger with Time Warner. After Sanders said she was not aware of any such conversation, Acosta circled back to the situation with “Democrats and Jewish people,” asking if Trump’s rhetoric is “beneath” the American people.
“Do you think that the president has thought, at all, going into the 2020 campaign that the rhetoric just needs to be lowered? Whether it’s talking about Democrats, the media, immigrants, or should we just plan on hearing the president use the same kind of language that we heard in 2016 and all through the first couple years of this administration?” Acosta asked.
Sanders responded that it’s a shame Democrats won’t come together and condemn anti-Semitic remarks.
“I think that is a great shame,” Sanders said. “The president has been clear on what his position is, certainly what his support is for the people and the community of Israel.”