Sarah Sanders slams press corps, calls Trump a 'fighter' who treats female, male journalists equally

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders on Tuesday defended President Trump's often combative style with the press, saying the president is a “fighter” who “hits back” at unfair criticism.

“I don’t always find the behavior of the press to be appropriate, either,” Sanders said during a conversation with Politico at the sixth annual Women Rule Summit. “I think that the president is somebody who’s a fighter. When he gets hit, he always hits back.”

"I think that the president is somebody who’s a fighter. When he gets hit, he always hits back."

— Sarah Sanders, White House press secretary

Her answer came after she was asked whether Trump’s behavior toward reporters, in general, has been appropriate. Sanders said she hopes that both the journalists and the president will tone down their rhetoric during future exchanges.

She said that when she's no longer press secretary she hopes she will be known for her transparency and honesty -- and for making America a better country.

“I hope that it will be that I showed up every day and I did the very best job that I could to put forward the president’s message, to do the best job that I could to answer questions, to be transparent and honest throughout that process and do everything I could to make America a little better that day than it was the day before,” she said.

"I hope that it will be that I showed up every day and I did the very best job that I could to put forward the president’s message, to do the best job that I could to answer questions, to be transparent and honest throughout that process and do everything I could to make America a little better that day than it was the day before."

— Sarah Sanders, White House press secretary

Sanders also rebuffed the suggestion that Trump targets female reporters with his criticism, saying the president clashes with male journalists on a frequent basis as well.

“The president’s had an equal number of contentious conversations with your male colleagues,” told interviewer Eliana Johnson. “Women wanted to be treated equally, and we have a president that certainly does that.”

In recent months, Trump was criticized after he made several disparaging remarks toward female reporters, including ABC’s Cecilia Vega, whom he said was “not thinking,” and April Ryan, a White House correspondent for American Urban Radio Networks, whom he said was a “loser” who “doesn’t know what the hell she’s doing.”

At the same time, Trump clashed with CNN’s Jim Acosta, prompting the White House to temporarily remove the reporter’s access. Acosta's press credentials were reinstated following a lawsuit that was supported by all major news organizations.

Finally, Sanders denied reports that she will be leaving the administration.

“Not that I know about,” she said. “I take things one day at a time. As long as I feel like I’ve been called to the place that I am and I feel I’m an effective messenger for the president — and frankly, he feels like I’m an effective messenger for him — I’d like to continue doing what I do. I love my job.”