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Trump talks to reporters . Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Members of the media are speaking out after President Trump launched a series of attacks on the press referring to them as an "enemy of the people."

Why it matters: Trump has long been critical of the mainstream media, but going so far as to call the media an "enemy of the people" is meant to fire up his base and further stoke distrust of the reporters he often clashes with.

Following attacks on CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta at President Trump's Tampa rally earlier this week, members of the media are condemning threats of violence — including Fox News' Sean Hannity — as hostility against the press is quickly escalating.

In his opening remarks Wednesday evening, Hannity — a confidante of Trump  came to Acosta's defense: "I will be the first person to come to your defense if I’m there and anyone ever dares lay a hand on you. If I was standing there, if I see it happen, I will be the first person to jump in and fight on your behalf. Physical violence is never acceptable to me, nor is it acceptable to the conservatives I know and respect."

  • However, he then quickly returned to standard criticism of CNN and biased media.

During Axios' Thursday interview with the president's daughter, Ivanka, Axios' Mike Allen asked if she agreed with her father that the press is in fact, an enemy of the people. She said she doesn’t.

Later Thursday, Acosta pressed White House press secretary Sarah Sanders to say "the press is not an enemy of the people." She refused, instead citing cases where the media has attacked her personally and "resorts to personal attacks without any content other to incite anger."

Go deeper: Where Trump's enemy of the people attack originated

Go deeper

5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Kellyanne Conway's parting power pointers

Kellyanne Conway addresses the 2020 Republican National Convention. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

Kellyanne Conway has seen power exercised as a pollster, campaign manager and senior counselor to President Trump. Now that his term in office has concluded, she shared her thoughts with Axios.

Why it matters: If there's a currency in this town, it's power, so we've asked several former Washington power brokers to share their best advice as a new administration and new Congress settle in.

5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

GOP holdouts press on with plans to crush Cheney

Screenshot of emails to a member of Congress from individuals who signed an Americans for Limited Government petition against Rep. Liz Cheney. Photo obtained by Axios

Pro-Trump holdouts in the House are forging ahead with an uphill campaign to oust Rep. Liz Cheney as head of the chamber's Republican caucus even though Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told them to back down.

Why it matters: What happens next will be a test of McCarthy's party control and the sincerity of his opposition to the movement. Cheney (R-Wyo.) is seen as a potential leadership rival to the California Republican.

Democrats aim to punish House GOP for Capitol riot

Speaker Nancy Pelosi passes through a newly installed metal detector at the House floor entrance Thursday. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

House Democrats plan to take advantage of corporate efforts to cut funding for Republicans who opposed certifying the 2020 election results, with a plan to target vulnerable members in the pivotal 2022 midterms for their role in the Jan. 6 violence.

Why it matters: It's unclear whether the Democrats' strategy will manifest itself in ads or earned media in the targeted races or just be a stunt to raise money for themselves. But the Capitol violence will be central to the party's messaging as it seeks to maintain its narrow majorities in Congress.