President Barack Obama on Saturday applauded the “outstanding work” of law enforcement as he called for criminal justice reform during a speech at the Congressional Black Caucus dinner.

“I just want to repeat, because somehow this never gets on the TV: There is no contradiction between us caring about our law enforcement officers and also making sure that our laws are applied fairly,” Obama said. “We want to protect our police officers. We’ll do a better job doing it if our communities can feel confident that they are being treated fairly. I hope I’m making that clear,” reports Huffington Post.

Obama's comments follow accusations from Republicans -- and Fox News -- that the president and police reform advocates are stoking violence against law enforcement. GOP presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) criticized Obama earlier this month for his silence about the so-called "war on police" that is allegedly ripping our nation to shreds.

“Cops across this country are feeling the assault,” Cruz said after he was asked about the death of Harris County Sheriff’s Deputy Darren Goforth in August.