Tension continues to flare between White House and media

WH attacks media

WASHINGTON -- President Trump tried to make nice with the press Tuesday afternoon, hours after assailing CNN on Twitter.

"So I'll ask the press to leave. I greatly appreciate you folks being here. We love you very much. You're very kind and very understanding," Mr. Trump said.

"Wow, CNN had to retract big story on 'Russia,'" Mr. Trump wrote early Tuesday. "What about all the other phony stories they do? FAKE NEWS!"

CNN retracted and apologized for an online story linking former Trump aide Anthony Scaramucci with a Russian bank. The network also announced the resignations of three employees.

Scaramucci accepted the network's apology, but deputy White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders pounced.

"We've been going on this Russia-Trump hoax for the better part for a year now with no evidence of anything," Sanders said Tuesday. "America is frankly looking for something better. They're looking for something more, and I think they deserve something better from our news media."

Last year a Gallup poll found that only 32 percent of Americans had a great deal or fair amount of trust in the media. Among Republicans, the number was 14 percent.

CBS News

But the White House has credibility issues of its own.

The New York Times has accused Mr. Trump of saying something false every day for the first 40 days of his administration.

"There is simply no precedent for an American president to spend so much time telling untruth," the Times reported last week. "He is trying to create an atmosphere in which reality is irrelevant."

Brian Karem CBS News

Brian Karem of Sentinal newspapers vented his frustrations with the Trump press team on Tuesday.

"What you just did is inflammatory for people all over the country who look at it and say see once again the president is right and everybody else out there is fake media, and everybody in this room is trying to do their job."

The White House tried to use the CNN story to brand all Russia-related news as phony. But, what's not phony: two congressional investigations and a special counsel probe into the matter.