Well, Sarah Huckabee Sanders decided/was compelled to talk to the press on Tuesday morning ahead of what is sure to be a truly absurd State of the Union address from Donald Trump.
As usual, it was painful to watch.
The first question that came up when Sanders spoke to CNN was of course how the White House is feeling now that Trump’s inaugural committee has been subpoenaed for documents by the Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office (which, you’re reminded, is conducting a criminal investigation into the fund’s money raising practices).
Obviously, this has the potential to spin out of control if it turns out that foreign entities used straw donors in an effort to flout US laws and thereby gain influence over the president. As CNN (and every media outlet on the planet) wrote on Monday evening, this is a wide-ranging request that finds prosecutors “investigating a litany of potential crimes [including] conspiracy against the US, false statements, mail fraud, wire fraud, money laundering, inaugural committee disclosure violations, and violations of laws prohibiting contributions by foreign nations and contributions in the name of another person.”
As was the case in the immediate aftermath of Roger Stone’s arrest (and as is customary following all arrests, indictments, subpoenas, and other legal bombshells) Sanders tried to suggest that somehow, Trump’s inaugural committee has nothing to do with Trump.
What you want to note in the clip below is how deliberate and direct reporters have to be when it comes to cornering Sanders. She has become quite adept at obfuscating and otherwise saying things that are flatly absurd, so everyone is forced to talk to her like one would address a small child in order to leave zero room for ambiguity.
In case it isn’t clear enough, the “common thread” to everything Sanders says, is that this press secretary has become a propaganda minister – full stop. There’s just no other way to characterize it anymore, even if one was inclined to be charitable. There is nothing at all credible about her answer. It is pure deflection. She is literally trying to convince America that somehow, Trump has nothing to do with the Trump campaign, the Trump transition, Trump’s inauguration or, hilariously, the Trump Organization.
Sanders was also taken to task by John Berman about the President’s manifestly false claim that a wall will somehow solve the problem of drugs coming into the country from Mexico. As noted last week in “Fentanyl Busts And Trump As A Reverse Lefty Guns”, the fact that the largest Fentanyl seizure in the country’s history took place at a port of entry and was facilitated by existing technology and drug-sniffing dogs undermines Trump’s claims that criminals avoid official crossing points. Pressed on this, Sanders faltered.
Finally, it’s worth noting that CNBC’s Eamon Javers on Tuesday asked Sanders directly if Trump attempted to dictate monetary policy to Jerome Powell when the two had dinner at the White House on Monday evening. Sanders of course demurred.
“I asked Sarah Sanders if President Trump gave Fed Chair Jay Powell any orders at dinner last night”, Javers said on Twitter, adding that she told him “she will not get into any details other than to say she hears dinner went well.”
That might “well” be true. But what didn’t “go well” was Sarah’s press availability on Tuesday.