"Yesterday was a hard and unusual day, with a number of people interpreting the day without a full picture that happened", King told ThinkProgress. On Wednesday, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders called the remarks a "fireable offense".
Trump slammed the network on Friday, several days after anchor Jemele Hill called him a "white supremacist" and "bigot" in a Twitter conversation with her followers. Trump World is known for having a thin skin, and it's hardly surprising when the White House lashes out aggressively at the president's critics.
Hill's comments were the latest fallout from Trump's mixed messages about violence at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that resulted in the death of a counter-protester. "Well, it's a threat to me".
On Wednesday, Ms. Hill issued a statement expressing regret for the way her comments "painted ESPN in an unfair light".
Then, thirty minutes later, she tweeted a screenshot of a note in her phone that read simply, "My comments on Twitter expressed my personal beliefs".
The former New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox player said Hill should use her platform to inspire people instead of providing an outlet for her audience to become more accepting of rants against the commander-in-chief. "My respect for my company and my colleagues remains unconditional".
Did ESPN try to keep Jemele Hill off the air?
NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who made national headlines past year for kneeling during the national anthem before games to protest police brutality, also expressed his support for Ms Hill in a tweet.
Hill apologized to her employer on Twitter on Wednesday evening after appearing in her regular role on SportsCenter.
ESPN didn't force Hill to retract her initial accusation, though the network did say that her comment was "inappropriate", adding that it didn't "represent the position of ESPN".