Sarah Sanders insults journalists who dare ask about Trump’s irrational tweets

The first rule of the Trump White House is that the president can do no wrong.

CREDIT: SCREENGRAB
CREDIT: SCREENGRAB

During a White House news briefing on Thursday, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was repeatedly asked to explain a Fox News-inspired tweet President Trump posted earlier in the day that contradicted the White House’s official position on a bill reauthorizing the the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

While the White House has staunchly supported FISA reauthorization, Trump reacted to a Fox & Friends segment in which Fox News Senior Judicial Analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano made a personal appeal to him against reauthorization by suggesting he was in fact opposed.

But less than two hours later, Trump — following a lengthy phone call with House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) — walked it back with a second tweet in which he indicated that he does in fact favor reauthorization.

Instead of trying to explain the disconnect during Thursday’s briefing, Sanders denied that Trump’s tweets were contradictory, and attacked reporters who asked questions.

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After NBC’s Hallie Jackson asked how in light of Trump’s mixed messages, the public “is supposed to trust… that the people representing the president’s position actually are,” Sanders suggested Jackson was not educated enough to understand the FISA issue.

“I think that the premise of your question is completely ridiculous and shows the lack of knowledge that you have on this process,” she said.

According to CNN, Trump’s initial tweet “set off a thunderclap of concern in Washington,” including among “Republican lawmakers and top intelligence officials” who called the White House “perplexed that Trump had appeared to contradict more than a week of public statements from the administration in support of the reauthorization, which allows the government to conduct warrantless spying on US soil.”

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“(Chief of staff John) Kelly’s phone was ringing off the hook,” one unnamed senior Republican official close to intelligence matters on Capitol Hill told CNN, while a Republican supportive of the FISA authorization told the network that “no one could believe it.”

An ABC news report details the confusion Trump’s tweet generated among members of Congress, which for a spell brought into question whether the House would even vote on the bill on Thursday at all.

Despite all that, Sanders would have the American public believe that Trump’s tweets were only confusing to dumb journalists.

“We weren’t confused, but some of you were,” she told reporters at another point during Thursday’s briefing.

The Trump White House has established a precedent for never acknowledging that the president makes mistakes. Perhaps most infamously, after Trump posted a tweet with an obvious typo last May, then-Press Secretary Sean Spicer suggested that “covfefe” wasn’t a typo after all.

“The president and a small group of people know exactly what he meant,” Spicer said.

In the last two months alone, Sanders has defending Trump’s retweets of inflammatory, fake videos that purported to show Muslims in the UK doing various heinous things — “Look, I’m not talking about the nature of the video. I think you’re focusing on the wrong thing,” she told reporters — as well as another Trump tweet in which he seemed to suggest that a female Democratic senator was willing to perform sexual acts for campaign donations.

Similar to her approach on Thursday, in the latter case, Sanders attacked journalists for asking about the tweet, telling a reporter, “I think only if your mind was in the gutter would you have read it that way.”