On a morning when President Donald Trump suggested the cancellation of NBC’s broadcasting license because of stories he deemed “fake,” presidential advisor Kellyanne Conway called for “a full and free press” and said she doesn’t use the term “fake news.”
Appearing at Fortune‘s Most Powerful Women Summit in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, Conway faced questions about how she counsels the president, specifically when it comes to his Twitter account.
She said that Trump’s tweets about policy, public events, and legislative proposals are not covered enough, suggesting that other posts in his active Twitter feed receive too much attention.
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“I don’t utter [the term] ‘fake news,'” Conway said, adding that her concern is instead with “incomplete coverage” of the president. She said that “major measures” he’s helped put into law—legislation that serves veterans and protects whistleblowers, for instance—don’t get the media attention they deserve.
“We need a full and free press in our nation,” she said. “With that freedom comes responsibility.”
Conway delivered her comments shortly after Trump posted tweets criticizing NBC in response to the network’s report that he’d asked for a tenfold increase in the U.S. nuclear arsenal this past summer. He floated the idea of revoking the operating licenses of NBC and other broadcast networks due to their coverage. (It should be noted that the Federal Communications Commission issues broadcast licenses to stations and oversees license holders, but does not license networks.)
Fake @NBCNews made up a story that I wanted a "tenfold" increase in our U.S. nuclear arsenal. Pure fiction, made up to demean. NBC = CNN!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 11, 2017
With all of the Fake News coming out of NBC and the Networks, at what point is it appropriate to challenge their License? Bad for country!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 11, 2017
A quick search of Conway’s Twitter feed shows at least one instance of her using the term “fake news,” but she has split with the president on the issue in the past. Earlier this year, she told Jake Tapper of CNN—one of the president’s favorite targets—that she doesn’t think the network is “fake news,” as the president has repeatedly suggested.
At times, Conway herself has been accused of spreading falsehoods. She was notably blacklisted from Morning Joe in February. In explaining the decision, host Mika Brzezinski said Conway’s TV appearances had featured information that was “askew, off or incorrect.”