Tag Archives: Sarah Huckabee Sanders

POTUS seeks to rally the base, ‘er, nation?

Donald Trump wants to go on national TV to rally Americans to his side as he pitches the idea of building The Wall along our southern border.

I believe the networks ought to carry the president’s televised speech Tuesday night. Let the man have his say and let the public debate and decide on the veracity of what he is contending.

Trump is considering whether to declare a national emergency to obtain money for The Wall. Why? Because he contends that terrorists are crossing an “open border.” He is trying to gin up fear, in my view, among Americans.

Oh, but wait. We are now getting reports from other sources that say that a grand total of six suspected terrorists were apprehended along the border in 2018, not the reported 4,000 of them alleged by the Trump administration.

Indeed, “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace, interviewing White House press secretary Sarah Sanders on Sunday, challenged her 4,000-terrorist assertion by declaring that those suspects are being apprehended at our nation’s airports.

So now we’re going to hear from the commander in chief about what looks like a fabricated crisis along our border.

Please . . .

Fox News host: Trump has ‘refounded’ ISIS

I guess hell has frozen over, as it does from time to time.

“Fox & Friends” co-host Brian Kilmeade, a guy I usually ignore, said this to White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders:

“Sarah, he’s giving Russia a big win. Vladimir Putin praised him. He’s also doing exactly what he criticized President Obama for doing. He said President Obama was the founder of ISIS. He just refounded ISIS.”

Donald Trump’s declaration that Barack Obama “founded” ISIS certainly was a hideous declaration from the campaign stump.

His decision to pull U.S. forces out of Syria, though, does give the Islamic State reason to revive itself. The Russians also are happy, given that they want to eliminate the forces fighting against their man in Damascus, Bashar al Assad. The Turks endorse the president, too, as they want to wipe out the Kurds who pose a threat to them while fighting on our side against ISIS.

Still, for Kilmeade to say on national TV that Trump has “refounded ISIS” is stunning, given that “Fox & Friends” has been such a traditionally venue for the president. He goes on the air, makes profoundly false statements and hardly ever is called out by the Fox hosts.

‘Overwhelming victory’? Actually, no … not even close

I have given Sarah Huckabee Sanders the benefit of the doubt during her time as White House press secretary.

She’s got a tough job, speaking for a president who lies out of both sides of his mouth. I didn’t actually believe Sanders was a fellow liar, incapable of telling the truth. Until just recently.

She declared at a press briefing that Donald Trump won an “overwhelming victory” in the 2016 presidential election.

Oh, my. Sigh. I want to revisit a matter that I’ve looked at already. It just needs a revisiting.

Donald Trump collected nearly 3 million fewer popular votes than Hillary Rodham Clinton. The totals are: Trump, 62,985,134, or 45.93 percent; Clinton, 65,853,652, or 48.02 percent. Clinton won the popular vote by a significant margin, although she didn’t win an outright majority of popular ballots.

Trump won the Electoral College vote — which is where it matters — by a 304-227 margin. He needed 270 electoral votes to be elected.

Overwhelming margin? Let’s see. If three swing states that Trump won — Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania — had flipped fewer than 80,000 votes, Clinton would have won the Electoral College by three votes and, thus, would have been elected president.

OK, please let me stipulate — once again — that Trump was elected legitimately. I believe in the Electoral College and I don’t want it repealed. Trump managed to pull off one of the nation’s most historic upsets by campaigning in precisely the right states at precisely the right time in a hard-fought, bitter and nasty campaign.

The president keeps casting his victory in historic terms. He keeps saying he won handily. He didn’t. Sarah Sanders knows he didn’t. I know he didn’t and if he’s honest with himself — even if he cannot be honest with the rest of us — Donald Trump knows it, too.

In a way, Trump’s victory was historic in at least one sense. Damn few so-called “experts” thought he’d win. He did. Despite having no public service experience, let alone any interest in it prior to running for president, Trump was elected to the only public office he’s ever sought.

Overwhelming victory? Not even close. So, Mme. Press Secretary, stop repeating that lie.

Yes, Mr. President, you deserve to share the blame

Donald Trump sees himself as one of the victims of the crisis that has erupted over the delivery of explosive devices to those who have been critical of him.

Here is what White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said this week, according to Politico“I think it is absolutely disgraceful that one of the first public statements we heard from CNN yesterday was to put the blame and responsibility of this despicable act on the president and on me personally,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told Fox News on Thursday.

She subsequently told reporters that Trump is no more responsible for the attempted bombings than Sen. Bernie Sanders was responsible “for a supporter shooting up a baseball practice field last year,” referring to the June 2017 Alexandria, Va., shooting in which four people, including House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) were shot.

I hear what Sanders is saying here. However, she and her boss — the president — need to fathom an essential element. Donald Trump needs to acknowledge that his fiery rhetoric has contributed to the nation’s sour political mood. He needs to acknowledge publicly his role in this national quarrel.

He refuses to do so. He blames the media for its negative and “false” coverage. He blames Democrats for fomenting hatred of Republicans and of himself.

Since the press aide brought up the Alexandria shooting by a left-leaning gunman and the grievous wound delivered to House Majority whip Steve Scalise, I want to remind y’all of this item.

Scalise’s terrible wound was greeted with expressions of prayer and support for him by his Democratic colleagues. House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi led the call for his full recovery.

The president has yet to offer any expression of support directly to former Presidents Clinton and Obama. Or to the former secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, or to a former attorney general, Eric Holder, or to U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters. Or to CNN, the media outlet he routinely calls a purveyor of “fake news.”

Yes, the president has contributed to this crisis. What is “absolutely disgraceful” is his refusal to recognize it.

No ‘guarantee’? So, what is the problem?

I feel the need to give White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders the benefit of the doubt on her latest skirmish with the press corps/”enemy of the people.”

She was pressed this week about whether she could “guarantee” that there would be no tape recordings of Donald J. Trump using the n-word in conversation.

Sanders said she couldn’t “guarantee” such a thing. Some in the media have gone a bit catatonic in their response to what I thought was a realistic answer. They have wondered how or why she couldn’t — or wouldn’t — offer a direct answer to a direct question.

Consider a couple of factors here.

First, as press secretary, Sanders very well might not know every tiny detail of every little occurrence within the West Wing.

Second, she serves in a presidential administration led by a pathological liar. Donald Trump cannot tell the truth to anyone, or so it appears, at least to chumps like me. I am quite certain Sanders didn’t intend to question the president’s veracity by making her “no guarantee” declaration.

Sure, Trump denies ever using the n-word. He says it’s not in his vocabulary. Do you believe him? I … do … not!

However, her answer sounded to my ears to be about the most honest response she has offered while speaking for the president.

WH press flack whiffs a home-run pitch

Sarah Huckabee Sanders was served a pitch that she should have hit out of the park. Instead, she whiffed.

It came from CNN White House reporter Jim Acosta, the current chief “enemy of the people,” according to the president and Sanders, his press secretary.

Acosta asked Sanders directly whether she believes as Donald John Trump believes that the media are the “enemy of the people.”

Sanders didn’t take the bait. She didn’t answer the question. She didn’t stand for the right of the media to do their job as prescribed by the U.S. Constitution. She didn’t challenge the notion that the media — which no president has ever liked — is the “enemy.”

The White House press secretary today revealed a potentially shameful side of herself.

See the Sanders-Acosta exchange on the link here.

I don’t know whether Sanders actually believes the crap she defends in the White House press briefing room, or whether she feels some sort of blind fealty to the head of state. Perhaps there’s a third option, that she might fear being humiliated by the president if he perceives that she is straying too far off the marked trail.

Whatever the case, the White House press officer could have assuaged many Americans’ fear that the White House has taken its war against the media to a frightening new level.

She didn’t.

Shame.

An ‘order’ or an ‘opinion’?

Let’s take another brief look at that tweet from Donald John Trump that’s gotten everyone’s attention.

He wrote: This is a terrible situation and Attorney General Jeff Sessions should stop this Rigged Witch Hunt right now, before it continues to stain our country any further. Bob Mueller is totally conflicted, and his 17 Angry Democrats that are doing his dirty work are a disgrace to USA!

I want to dissect a section of the Twitter message. Did the president issue an order to the attorney general or was he merely stating an opinion?

I keep reading it and I keep coming up with the former. It looks like an order to my eyes. It would sound like an order were he to say it to me directly.

The Hill reported: (Former Watergate special prosecutor Jill) Wine-Banks argued that Trump’s tweet on Wednesday calling for Sessions to immediately end the probe into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election was sent with the intention that Sessions obey it and that Trump has “undermined” the probe from the beginning.

The so-called explanation offered by White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders just doesn’t add up. She said Trump merely was offering his “opinion” about the nature of Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in our electoral system.

Thus, the president might have committed a bald-faced act of conspiring to commit obstruction of justice with that message to the AG. Did he issue an order to Sessions to end an investigation into what he — the president — might have done?

This is unprecedented. It’s also, dare I say it — to borrow a malapropism once offered by Trump himself — very “unpresidented.”

No, Sarah, probe is no ‘hoax’ or a ‘waste of time’

Sarah Huckabee Sanders needs a serious reality check.

The White House press secretary this week called special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into alleged collusion between 2016 Trump presidential campaign and Russian election attack squad members a “hoax” and a “waste of time.”

Hmm. Let me think about that.

OK, it’s not a waste of time. Nor do I believe that multiple criminal indictments and a smattering of guilty pleas constitute a hoax.

The Hill reports that the number of aides caught up in this mess now stands at 32. More are likely to be in the mill.

A federal grand jury has indicted 12 Russian intelligence officers on conspiracy charges. Key campaign aides have been indicted as well, along with a former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, who’s been cooling his jets in jail waiting for the start of his trial on charges of money laundering and assorted other felonies.

Hoax? Waste of time? Not even close.

Proceed, Mr. Special Counsel.

WH press flack redefines rhetorical elusiveness

I am going to offer a tip of the hat — sort of — to Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

The White House press secretary is either (a) exceedingly quick on her feet or (b) gets a thorough briefing from other West Wing staffers on how to answer direct questions.

Sanders got a question today about Donald J. Trump’s answer when he was asked by a reporter whether he still thought Russia posed a threat to our electoral system, as it did in attacking it during the 2016 presidential election.

The president said “no.” He said Russia did not pose a threat.

Sanders got the question at the White House press briefing: Did the president really mean to say Russia was not trying to interfere in our midterm election?

She said the “no” response to the question was the president’s way of saying “no more questions” from the media.

Isn’t that clever? Slick? Cagey?

It’s also untrue.

Sanders trotted out that amazing response to chief of staff John Kelly’s visible body language while Trump — at the NATO meeting in Brussels — was scolding the Germans over their supposedly being under the “total control” of Russia. A reporter asked her about Kelly’s reaction. She said he was angry because he wanted a full breakfast, but instead got only “pastry and cheese.”

That, dear reader, is hilarious.

Except that I ain’t laughing. Neither should you. It’s deceptive. She’s lying for her boss.

WH chief of staff angry over breakfast menu? Wow!

Sarah Huckabee Sanders has just notched my all-time favorite lame response from the White House press office.

It’s a beaut, man!

White House chief of staff John Kelly was seen grimacing, looking at the floor and fidgeting while sitting two seats away from the president, who was lambasting Germany over what Donald Trump contended was Russia’s total control over our strategic ally.

The person next to Kelly, U.S. North Atlantic Treaty Organization ambassador Kay Bailey Hutchison — the former U.S. senator from Texas — was seen looking around as if to suggest she’d rather be anywhere other than where she was at the moment.

As the New York Daily News reported: As Trump laid into Germany, Kelly pursed his lips, looked down and appeared generally uncomfortable. Kelly seemed particularly unsettled when Trump made the “captive” comment, firmly pressing his lips together and staring off into the distance.

Someone then asked Sanders about Kelly’s apparently visceral response, that some had interpreted as extreme discomfort over what he was hearing from the president.

Sanders’s response? She said Kelly “was displeased because he was expecting a full breakfast and there were only pastries and cheese.”

Isn’t that a great retort? Doesn’t that qualify for entry into the press secretaries’ hall of shame for lame responses?

It’s got my vote. To be candid, I thought Sanders’s response to the question was quite, um, creative.

Stand tall, Sarah.