The public should take "seriously" President Donald Trump's comment the "fake news" media is an "enemy of the American people," White House chief of staff Reince Priebus said.
In an interview to air Sunday on CBS News' "Face The Nation," Priebus blasted news stories about the administration's Russia links and intelligence briefings in response to host John Dickerson's query about the president's angry reaction.
"Well, I think you should take it seriously," Priebus said.
"I think that the problem we've got is that we're talking about bogus stories like the one in The New York Times, that we've had constant contact with Russian officials. The next day, The Wall Street Journal had a story that the intel community was not giving the president a full intelligence briefing. Both stories grossly inaccurate, overstated, overblown, and it's total garbage."
Priebus said "the American people" suffer from some press reports – and "it needs to end."
"I do think it's a problem," Priebus said. "And I think that the media needs to, in some cases – not every case, John – but in some cases, really needs to get its act together."
"I think that the media should stop with this unnamed source stuff," he added. "Put names on a piece of paper and print it. If people aren't willing to put their name next to a quote, then the quote shouldn't be listed."
"We're talking about stupidity and intelligence reporting that is based on facts that's not coming out of the actual heads of these intelligence agencies," Priebus said of recent media reports. "And we're sitting here talking about it. And it's a shame. And it needs to end."
Dickerson then pressed Priebus, pointing out "in every answer, you've turned it back to the media," adding: "I guess the question is: Is the strategy now to answer any question by just turning it back on the media and using a fight with the media as a way to try to control the storyline?"
"John, the last few questions you've asked make no sense," Priebus shot back, adding: "Give me a specific question with a specific purpose – accusation, and I'll answer the question. But you're asking me a vague question without any specifics, and you want me to give you a specific answer. It's ridiculous."
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