WASHINGTON, Sept. 15 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday urged sports network ESPN to apologize after one of its anchors labeled him as "a white supremacist."
"ESPN is paying a really big price for its politics (and bad programming)," Trump said in a tweet.
"People are dumping it in record numbers," he continued. "Apologize for untruth."
Trump's attacks on ESPN came after SportsCenter host Jemele Hill tweeted Monday that "Trump is a white supremacist who has largely surrounded himself with other white supremacists."
In a statement late Wednesday, ESPN said Hill had apologized to the network for her remarks and it had accepted the apology.
"Jemele has a right to her personal opinions, but not to publicly share them on a platform that implies that she was in any way speaking on behalf of ESPN," the U.S.-based network said.
It also stressed Hill's comments "do not represent the position of ESPN."
White House press secretary Sarah Huckbee Sanders said "ESPN has been hypocritical," when she was asked about the matter in a press conference on Friday.
"That's one of the more outrageous comments that anyone could make and certainly something I think is a fireable offence by ESPN," Sanders commented.
"They should hold anchors to a fair and consistent standard," she said, noting that the network once suspended an anchor over a political statement.
Hill's remarks on Twitter marked the latest fallout from Trump's ambiguous position on violent clashes triggered by a white supremacist rally last month in Charlottesville, Virginia, which led to the death of an anti-racism protester and injuries of dozens of others.
The National Association of Black Journalists said Wednesday that it supports "Hill's First Amendment rights on all matters of discussion, within and outside the world's of sports, as they do not impinge on her duties as host and commentator."
In a tweet Friday morning, the American Civil Liberties Union stated "the president and his staff should not be using the enormous power of their platform to bully journalists or chill dissent."