White House counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway chided media members and commentators for being 'obsessed' with President Donald Trump.
She made the comment Friday after Trump set off a media firestorm by yanking the security clearance of fierce critic former CIA Director John Brennan.
That issue in turn supplanted Trump's feud with former White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman, reports Daily Mail.
However Trump has engaged inserted himself into a range of national debates by going after basketball great LeBron James, condemning kneeling NFL football players, supporting TV's Roseanne Barr over her firing, and attacking then praising North Korea's Kim Jong-un, to name just a few.
"Why is everybody so obsessed with the President of the United States that they can't even begin or finish a sentence without mentioning his name five times," Conway said outside the West Wing of the White House.
"It's kind of weird. And it's affecting people on the news now who fancy themselves security experts," she said.
Kellyanne made the comment as she blasted Brennan, who has gone after Trump during TV appearances and online, where he called Trump's Helsinkin summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin "treasonous".
She called Brennan "virulently against the interest of this administration".
She also took a shot at a Washington Post reporter who was questioning her and who had engaged in punditry on CNN when she asked about the decision to postpone a planned military parade in Washington D.C. that Trump had called for, noting the opposition of a veterans' group.
"And that's their opinion and it sounds like you share it since you're in the business of opinion not news most days," Conway said.
Conway went after Brennan on 'Fox and Friends' Friday, defending Trump's decision which included the threat to take away the clearances of other prominent critics and those tied to the Russia probe.
"Remember, you keep those security clearances as a professional courtesy or to keep an unbroken line for the next successor administration if you can be helpful with respect to national security," Conway said.
"He has proven neither. In fact, he is a cable news pundit now," she said.
"Why is he doing it in a The New York Times op-ed? Why is he screaming about it on a lower-rated cable network? Because that's where he is making his money now. So, I know it says "former CIA director," but what is he doing currently to merit that security clearance?" she asked.
Brennan in a Times op-ed called the idea that Trump did not collude with Russians "hogwash".
Brennan is a regular contributor to NBC and MSNBC News, although some of his harshest criticism of Trump has come from his Twitter account, where after the Helsinki summit he brought up "high crimes and misdemeanors" and called Trump's conduct "treasonous".
President Trump insisted Friday that taking away Brennan's security clearance wasn't an attempt to silence a fierce critic – and in fact gave him a much louder megaphone.
"There's no silence. If anything I'm giving him a bigger voice," the president told reporters on the South Lawn of the White House before leaving for a pair of Long Island events and a weekend at his Bedminster, New Jersey estate.
"Many people don't even know who he is, and now he has a bigger voice. And that's okay with me because I like taking on voices like that," he said of Brennan.
"I've never respected him. I've never had a lot of respect."
On Thursday Trump got a stinging rebuke from a retired naval admiral William McRaven, who mockingly implored him to revoke his own security clearance as a show of solidarity with Brennan.
"I don't know McRaven," Trump said Friday, declaring that "I've gotten tremendous response from having done that because security clearances are very important to me. Very, very important."
He was not asked about the 12 former American intelligence chiefs who lashed out at him earlier in the day over the Brennan affair, calling Trump's action a "political tool".
Retired Gen. David Petraeus was among them. Petraeus pleaded guilty in 2015 to sharing reams of classified material with a mistress who was doubling as his biographer, a historical footnote that made him an odd choice.
Past CIA directors appointed by every former president since Ronald Reagan signed a joint statement that blasted the president for "ill-considered and unprecedented remarks and actions".
"[W]e all agree that the president's action regarding John Brennan and the threats of similar action against other former officials has nothing to do with who should and should not hold security clearances – and everything to do with an attempt to stifle free speech," they wrote.
It was published as a statement but resembled an open letter to the president.
"We know John to be an enormously talented, capable, and patriotic individual who devoted his adult life to the service of this nation. Insinuations and allegations of wrongdoing on the part of Brennan while in office are baseless," the group writes.
They conclude: "Decisions on security clearances should be based on national security concerns and not political views."