Sarah Sanders Continues Slamming the Eagles: They’re the Ones Engaging in ‘Political Stunt’

Right off the bat today, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders faced questions about the Philadelphia Eagles not coming to the White House after all.

The statement from President Trump cites disagreement on the national anthem, and Huckabee Sanders herself said in a statement today the team “offered to send only a tiny handful of representatives,” accusing them of trying to “abandon their fans.”

During the briefing, ABC News’ Jon Karl asked, “Is the president aware that not a single player on the eagles for the entire season knelt for the national anthem?”

Huckabee Sanders responded by reaffirming Trump’s position on the anthem before blaming the Eagles for being the ones to “change their commitment at the 11th hour.”

Karl pressed further and asked, “Is this about something more than the national anthem?”

Huckabee Sanders said that it’s clearly a “political stunt” by the team, saying this whole thing is “about having pride in our country and about being respectful to the men and women that have fought and died to preserve our country.”

The White House will be hosting a “Celebration of America” event instead. And the President tweeted this morning, “The Philadelphia Eagles Football Team was invited to the White House. Unfortunately, only a small number of players decided to come, and we canceled the event. Staying in the Locker Room for the playing of our National Anthem is as disrespectful to our country as kneeling. Sorry!”

[Mediaite]

Trump lawyers say he ‘dictated’ statement on Trump Tower meeting, contradicting past denials

In a confidential letter to special counsel Robert Mueller in January, President Donald Trump’s legal team acknowledged for the first time that Trump “dictated” the first misleading statement put out about his son’s controversial 2016 meeting with Russians at Trump Tower.

“You have received all of the notes, communications and testimony indicating that the President dictated a short but accurate response to the New York Times article on behalf of his son, Donald Trump, Jr.,” the letter said, according to The New York Times, which published a copy of it. “His son then followed up by making a full public disclosure regarding the meeting, including his public testimony that there was nothing to the meeting and certainly no evidence of collusion.”

The acknowledgment was tucked away in the letter, which largely focused on defending Trump from a potential subpoena for testimony and asserted broad executive powers to avoid a high-stakes interview with Mueller. The letter, which CNN previously reported on, was signed by Trump’s attorneys at the time, John Dowd and Jay Sekulow. Dowd left the legal team in March, while Sekulow continues representing the President.

The misleading statement, issued in July 2017 to The New York Times, obfuscated the true nature of the June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower, which was attended by Donald Trump Jr., then-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner, who is now a senior White House adviser, and a group of Kremlin-tied Russians.

One of those Russians, lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, brought up the Magnitsky Act at the meeting, a 2012 American law punishing Russian human rights violators that she has lobbied extensively to overturn. She reached out to Trump’s team after he was elected to try to lobby on the Russian sanctions, CNN has reported.

While the premise of the Trump Tower meeting was for the Russians to deliver damaging information about Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, the statement initially put out in Trump Jr.’s name said the participants “primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children” and omitted mention of Clinton.

After the initial statement came out, news outlets reported Trump was involved in preparing the statement. Some reports said he helped draft it, others said he personally “dictated” the words. Trump Jr., meanwhile, told the Senate Judiciary Committee in private testimony in September, released last month, that he didn’t speak to his father about the statement, but that the President “may have commented through Hope Hicks,” the then-White House aide, and that some of those comments might have made it into the statement.

In their public responses to the news reports, however, Sekulow and White House press secretary Sarah Sanders denied Trump’s role.

The letter revealed on Saturday puts to bed the question of Trump’s involvement, but it doesn’t erase the previous denials from the record. Here are those examples.

Trump lawyer Sekulow, CNN interview, 7/12/17: “That was written, no that was written by Donald Trump Jr. and I’m sure with consultation with his lawyer. That wasn’t written by the president.”

Sekulow, ABC interview, 7/12/17: “The president didn’t sign off on anything. He was coming back from the G20. The statement that was released Saturday was released by Donald Trump Jr., I’m sure in consultation with his lawyers. The President wasn’t involved in that.”

Sekulow, NBC interview, 7/16/17: “The President was not — did not — draft the response. The response came from Donald Trump Jr. and — I’m sure — in consultation with his lawyer. … Let me say this — but I do want to be clear — that the President was not involved in the drafting of the statement and did not issue the statement. It came from Donald Trump Jr.

Sekulow, statement to the Washington Post, 7/31/17: “Apart from being of no consequence, the characterizations are misinformed, inaccurate, and not pertinent.”

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders, daily press briefing, 8/1/17: “He certainly didn’t dictate, but he — like I said, he weighed in, offered suggestion like any father would do.”

[CNN]

Sarah Huckabee Sanders Calls Kelly Sadler’s John McCain Remarks A “Leak” & She Won’t Discuss It

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders had quite the controversy to answer for on Friday. It was less than 24 hours after an administration official reportedly made a deeply offensive joke about cancer-stricken Arizona senator John McCain, but as it turned out, she wasn’t willing to get into any sort of specifics about it. Sanders ducked questions about Kelly Sadler’s “dying” John McCain joke during the press briefing, insisting that she wasn’t going to “validate a leak” about an internal administration meeting.

Sanders, who’s been the press secretary since the departure of Sean Spicer from the job last July, did not seem very pleased to be fielding the questions. It was on Thursday that Sadler, a special assistant to President Donald Trump, reportedly joked during an administration meeting that McCain’s opposition to CIA director nominee Gina Haspel was irrelevant, because “he’s dying anyway.”

McCain, 81, was diagnosed with glioblastoma last summer, a rare and highly aggressive form of brain cancer. It’s the same type of cancer that former Massachusetts senator Ted Kennedy died from back in 2009, and McCain has been straightforward about just how poor his prognosis is.

“They said that it’s very serious, that the prognosis is very, very serious,” McCain told CBS’ 60 Minutes last year. “Some say 3 percent, some say 14 percent. You know, it’s a very poor prognosis.”

When repeatedly asked about Sadler’s remark ― and more specifically, whether Sadler still has a job at the White House ― Sanders more or less stonewalled, declining to address the substance of the reports.

“I’m not going to comment on an internal staff meeting,” she said. “I’m not going to validate a leak, one way or another, out of an internal staff meeting.”

Sadler’s reported remark has stirred controversy and outrage on social media, and in the mainstream media too. In particular, both McCain’s daughter Meghan and his wife Cindy have responded publicly, with Cindy sending a tweet to Sadler reminding her that he has a loving family.

Meghan, for her part, responded to the comment on Friday’s episode of The View, remarking that her father is actually “doing really well right now” before addressing Sadler directly.

“Kelly, here’s a little news flash, and this may be a little intense for 11 o’clock in the morning on a Friday, but, we’re all dying,” she said. “And it’s not how you die, it is how you live.”

According to reports, Sadler’s joke was met largely with silence, and a few uncomfortable laughs. The White House subsequently put out a statementexpressing “respect” for McCain’s service to his country, although it did not address Sadler’s remark.

The news came the very same day that a Fox Business on-air guest sparked controversy by voicing support for American use of torture, claiming it worked on McCain. Specifically, former Air Force officer Thomas McInerney told Fox Business’ Charles Payne that McCain, who was captured and held as a prisoner for more than five years during the Vietnam war, was proof that torture worked, derisively calling him “songbird John.”

For the record, there’s no evidence McCain ever surrendered valuable information to the Vietnamese throughout the years he was tortured and beaten, although that’s not even very relevant to the cruelty of the remark. Payne ultimately issued an apology over the incident, and it similarly drew a stern response from McCain’s wife, Cindy.

In short, McCain’s name has been in the press a lot the past few days, and not necessarily for happy reasons. For what it’s worth, however, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan chimed in on the conversation on Friday, calling the Arizona senator a “hero” who “gave his entire adult life for this country.”

[Bustle]

Media

White House blames ‘typo’ for major claim on Iran’s nuclear program

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Tuesday blamed a “typo” for a controversial statement issued late Monday that initially said Iran currently “has” a secret nuclear program — a conclusion that would have major implications for the Iran nuclear deal.

In the statement issued under Sanders’ name, the Trump administration originally wrote that “Iran has a robust, clandestine nuclear weapons program that it has tried and failed to hide from the world and from its own people,” a position that conflicted with international monitors who have found Iran to be in compliance with the landmark nuclear deal it signed with other nations, including the U.S., in 2015.

The statement was later amended online to switch to the past tense, that “Iran had a robust, clandestine nuclear weapons program.” On the White House website, the statement is published without a correction or other acknowledgment of the error, and a corrected email was not sent to reporters.

“We think the biggest mistake that was made was under the Obama administration by ever entering the deal that you referenced in the first place,” Sanders told reporters on Tuesday. “The typo that you referenced was noticed, immediately corrected and we are focused on moving forward on the safety and security of our country.”

The White House statement came in response to a Monday presentation from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, an outspoken critic of the Iran nuclear deal, lambasting the agreement and accusing the Iranian government of deceiving the international community on the subject of its nuclear program.

Netanyahu’s presentation was met with skepticism by many who argued that it contained little new information, and Sanders, in her Monday statement, said “the United States is aware of the information just released by Israel and continues to examine it carefully.”

Despite having to defend the White House’s edited statement, Sanders still went on the offensive at Tuesday’s briefing, slamming the Iran deal that the president has often threatened to withdraw the U.S. from.

“The problem is that the deal was made on a completely false pretense. Iran lied on the front end. They were dishonest actors and so the deal that was made was made on things that weren’t accurate and we have a big problem with that,” she said.

[Politico]

Trump calls WHCD a ‘very big, boring bust’

President Trump continued to denigrate the White House Correspondents’ Dinner on Sunday morning — calling the gathering a “very big, boring bust.”

Trump fired off a few tweets celebrating the campaign-style rally he held for supporters Saturday night in Michigan, which was organized to coincide with the annual dinner organized by the White House Correspondents’ Association. This was the second consecutive year that the president broke from tradition by skipping the black-tie affair.

Comedian Michelle Wolf’s pointed performance elicited fierce reactions from fans and critics. It was variously described as “magnificently funny” and “unnecessarily cruel.” Trump agreed with the latter, calling Wolf a “so-called comedian” and suggesting that Fox News host Greg Gutfeld host next year’s dinner.

Most of the criticism directed toward Wolf dealt with her jokes at the expense of conservative women. Many prominent figures, both liberal and conservative, were offended what the “Daily Show” contributor said about White House press secretary Sarah Sanders. Trump, who was famously lampooned at the 2011 dinner by Seth Meyers, sent Sanders to represent the administration in his place. She was seated on the dais throughout Wolf’s performance.

Margaret Talev, president of the White House Correspondents’ Association, told Politico that some of Wolf’s material made her feel uncomfortable.

“The association by tradition does not preview or censor the entertainer’s remarks,” Talev said. “Some of them made me uncomfortable and did not embody the spirit of the night. And that is protected by the First Amendment. I appreciated Sarah Sanders for joining us at the head table and her grace through the program.”

Sanders’s father, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, condemned the dinner, claiming it celebrated “bullying, vulgarity, and hate” rather than the First Amendment, as intended.

[Yahoo]

Sarah Sanders whines about the media’s tone as she berates CNN’s Jim Acosta

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders clashed with CNN reporter Jim Acosta on Wednesday.

During a press briefing, Acosta asked about Donald Trump’s nominee to run the Department of Veteran Affairs. “Yesterday, the president suggested that Ronny Jackson does not have the experience to run the Department of Veteran Affairs — is that a fair assessment,” he wondered.

But Sanders quickly accused Acosta of distorting the president’s words.

Acosta also asked Sanders about remarks earlier in the press briefing, in which she suggested that the Trump administration was a champion of the press.

“We support a free press but we also support a fair press,” Sanders said. “And I think that those things should go hand and hand.”

She added that the reporters at White House briefings often had a “tone” that was “completely unnecessary.”

[Raw Story]

Media

Sarah Huckabee Sanders: Democrats Voting Against Pompeo Don’t ‘Love’ America

As the Senate Foreign Relations Committee prepares to vote on President Donald Trump’s secretary of state nominee Mike Pompeo, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders appeared on Fox & Friends Monday morning and accused anyone planning to vote against him of being unpatriotic.

“Look, at some point, Democrats have to decide whether they love this country more than they hate this president,” Sanders said on Fox News. “And they have to decide that they want to put the safety and the security and the diplomacy of our country ahead of their own political games. And we’re very hopeful that they will.”

Sanders cited the fact that Pompeo was “top of his class” at Harvard and “first in his class” at Westpoint, but those credentials have little to do with the opposition to Pompeo from every Democratic member of the committee in addition to Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY).

During his confirmations hearings earlier this month, Pompeo was forced to defend his hawkish positions on Iran and Russia and refused to apologize for Islamophobic comments he had made in the past. “My record is exquisite with respect to treating each and every faith with the dignity that they deserved,” the current CIA director insisted.

Last fall, Pompeo delivered false and misleading statements about the intelligence community’s findings on Russian interference in the 2016 election. While Pompeo said at a security conference, “The intelligence community’s assessment is that the Russian meddling that took place did not affect the outcome of the election,” the official report directly stated, “We did not make an assessment of the impact that Russian activities had on the outcome of the 2016 election.”

“Hard to believe Obstructionists May vote against Mike Pompeo for Secretary of State,” President Trump tweeted on Monday, shortly after his press secretary’s appearance on Fox & Friends. “The Dems will not approve hundreds of good people, including the Ambassador to Germany. They are maxing out the time on approval process for all, never happened before. Need more Republicans!”

[Daily Beast]

Media

Sarah Sanders Called Out For Tweeting Misleading Photo Celebrating Syria Strike

On Saturday evening, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders tweeted out a photo of the Situation Room, stating that the president had put “our adversaries on notice” the previous night. The implication of the photo was that Trump and his staff were reacting to Friday night’s military strike on Syria.

Only one problem with the tweet — Vice President Mike Pence wasn’t in Washington on Friday evening. The photo shows Pence at the table thus highlighting that it was taken earlier in the week as the vice president was in Peru on Friday.

[Mediaite]

Sarah Sanders says Trump didn’t admit lying when he admitted lying to Canada’s prime minister

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders on Thursday conflicted with President Donald Trump’s own account of a misleading statement that he claimed to make up about trade with Canada.

According to The Washington Post, Trump “boasted in a fundraising speech Wednesday that he made up information in a meeting with the leader of a top U.S. ally, saying he insisted to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that the United States runs a trade deficit with its neighbor to the north without knowing whether that was true.”

At Thursday’s press briefing, NPR correspondent Mara Liasson pointed out that the U.S. actually had a trade surplus with Canada.

Sanders asserted that Liasson’s figures did not “take into account some of the additional things like energy and timber.”

“It shows that there actually is a deficit,” she said. “The president was accurate because there was a trade deficit. He didn’t have to look at the specific figures because he knew there was a trade deficit.”

Sander admitted, however, that she did not have proof of the claims “in front of her.”

[Raw Story]

Media

Trump tweet ‘not necessarily’ linking shooting to Russia investigation: Sanders

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders has walked back President Donald Trump’s tweet from last weekend suggesting the FBI could have prevented the Parkland high school shooting if it hadn’t been so focused on the Russia investigation.

On Friday, the FBI said it failed to follow up on a tip about the Parkland shooter. And Tuesday, when asked if Trump believes the FBI missed warning signs because of the time it’s spending on the Russia investigation, Sanders said that was “not necessarily” the cause.

“I think he was speaking – not necessarily that that is the cause. I think we all have to be aware that the cause of this is that of a deranged individual that made a decision to take the lives of 17 other people. That is the responsibility of the shooter certainly not the responsibility of anybody else,” Sanders said.

Sanders tried to clarify when asked if the tweet Trump sent late Saturday night from his private Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida was a “mistweet.”

“I think he’s making the point that we would like our FBI agencies to not be focused on something that is clearly a hoax in terms getting the Trump campaign and its involvement,” Sanders said.

Trump’s tweet outraged some survivors of the school shooting that killed 17 last week.

Over the weekend, Trump fumed about Friday’s indictment from the special counsel’s investigation that accused 13 Russians of interfering in the 2016 election. Trump pointed at the Obama administration for not intervening earlier. “The ‘Russian hoax’ was that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia – it never did!” he tweeted.

[ABC News]

1 2 3