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]

Sarah Sanders: Russia Investigation a ‘Hoax,’ But We Have ‘No Intention’ to Fire Mueller

Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders took some new shots at the Russia special counsel today, even as she insisted the Trump Administration doesn’t plan on firing Robert Mueller.

In an interview for America’s Newsroom, Sanders was asked by Bill Hemmer about recent questions surrounding Mueller’s probe. Sanders proceeded to dismiss the investigation as a “hoax” which shows that Democrats have no agenda beyond attacking and trying to undermine the president.

“For the 1,000th time, We have no intentions of firing Bob Mueller,” Sanders said. “We are continuing to work closely and cooperate with him. We look forward to seeing this hoax wrap up very soon.”

Hemmer followed up by asking about what Senator Rand Paul suggested earlier today about former Obama officials colluding to stop Trump from being president. Sanders responded with more jabs at Democrats and the “liberal media,” and responded that Ryan’s claims could be worth looking into.

[Mediaite]

Media

White House defends Trump claim tax plan will cost him ‘a fortune’

The White House defended President Trump’s assertion that the forthcoming tax reform bill will cost him a “fortune,” while admitting he could benefit from cuts to corporate taxes.

Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders responded to repeated questions from reporters during Tuesday’s briefing about Trump’s assertion, which he made during a Nov. 29 speech in Missouri.

Sanders defended the president by arguing that he hasn’t been focused on himself, but instead on the impact the bill would have on everyday Americans.

“In some ways, particularly on the personal side, the president will likely take a big hit. But on the business side, he could benefit,” she said.

“The biggest focus for this White House is to makes sure all Americans are better off today when this tax package passes than they were before hand. We really focused on invigorating the middle class and making sure they get more of their hard-earned money.”

Multiple independent analyses show that Trump, whose net worth is pegged by Forbes at $3.1 billion, stands to benefit from GOP tax plan.

When reporters noted that the overall impact on Trump’s bottom line is unclear because he has not released his tax returns, Sanders said that Trump will not release his tax returns while they are under audit, which is the line that Trump took during the presidential campaign too. The IRS, however, has said an audit does not prevent an individual from releasing personal tax information.

Using information from a leaked portion of Trump’s tax returns from 2005, NBC News quoted a tax expert estimating that the combined estates of both Trump and first lady Melania Trump would save about $1 billion from the repeal of the estate tax. The expert also estimated that Trump would save $22.6 million thanks to the repeal of the alternative minimum tax, after capital gains taxes were taken into account. But without Trump’s most recent tax returns, or a more full glimpse at the 2005 return, the full impact couldn’t be nailed down.

The House passed the final version of the plan Tuesday afternoon, with the Senate expected to vote on the bill later that same day.

[The Hill]

Sarah Huckabee Sanders Invented a New Excuse For Why Trump Won’t Release His Taxes

During a press briefing this afternoon, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked about the still-lingering issue of President Donald Trump‘s refusal to make his tax returns public.

The Trump team has consistently countered critics by saying that since the president’s returns are being audited, he cannot release them publicly. NBC‘s Hallie Jackson picked up on this issue and posed the following question, “You said, on Tuesday, that as long as [President Trump’s] taxes are under audit, he’s not going to release them; his 2016 taxes–to our knowledge–are not under audit–unless they are.” To which Sanders replied:

The president’s taxes, no matter who the president is, actually immediately go under audit after being filed.

Sanders’ full excuse, therefore, is that President Trump still can’t release his taxes because they’re presently subject to an automatic audit.

Except that’s not really the case.

While it is true that presidential tax returns are automatically audited by the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) since the time of President Richard Nixon, nothing about the automatic audit actually prevents presidential tax returns from being released.

In 2015, President Barack Obama released his tax returns to the American public (so did Vice-President Biden). Obama’s tax returns were subject to the same mandatory audit provision of the IRS manual, but he released them anyway.

And lest the MAGA set think we’re being unfair by comparing Trump to Obama’s time in office, that’s not all.

According to the Tax History Project, almost every single president since Nixon has released their tax returns for every single year they’ve been in office–and every president since Nixon has been subject to that same mandatory audit provision in the IRS manual. The only currently unavailable tax returns are one each from Presidents George H. W. Bush and Jimmy Carter and all of those belonging to Gerald Ford–who only released summary data about tax years 1966-1975.

Nothing is stopping Trump from releasing his taxes–and to be clear, those returns will be under audit at least until he leaves the White House. But now, Sarah Huckabee Sanders has indicated that the president intends on using a perpetual, legalistic excuse not to release them.

[Law and Crime]

Media

Sarah Sanders: Trump OK With Businesses Hanging Antigay Signs

President Trump’s press secretary said her boss would have no problem with businesses hanging antigay signs that explicitly state they don’t serve LGBT customers.

Hours after oral arguments concluded in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case — where a Colorado baker argued to the Supreme Court that his religion allows him to refuse service to gay people — Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was confronted on legalized discrmination during today’s White House press briefing.

“The lawyer for the solicitor general’s office for the administration said today in the Supreme Court if it would be legal, possible for a baker to put a sign in his window saying we don’t bake cakes for gay weddings,” The New York Times‘s Michael Shear asked. “Does the president agree that that would be ok?”

“The president certainly supports religious liberty and that’s something he talked about during the campaign and has upheld since taking office,” Sanders replied.

When pressed on whether that included support for signs that deny service to gay people, Sanders responded: “I believe that would include that.”

[Advocate]

Media

White House defends Trump’s Muslim tweets

The White House on Wednesday defended President Trump’s widely condemned retweets of videos purporting to show violence committed by Muslims.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that whether the inflammatory videos are real or not, “the threat is real.”

“I’m not talking about the nature of the video,” she told reporters at the White House. “I think you’re focusing on the wrong thing. The threat is real and that is what the president is talking about.”

Sanders said the videos underscore the need for Trump’s push to bolster national security and secure the nation’s borders.

“Those are very real things. There is nothing fake about that,” she said.

Trump retweeted videos posted by Jayda Fransen, a leader of the far-right organization Britain First. The group is considered a fringe entity in the U.K. and Fransen has been convicted of a hate crime.

The tweets set off a massive backlash against the president on both sides of the Atlantic.

U.S. civil rights leaders accused Trump of fanning anti-Muslim sentiment and the British government condemned the tweets.

“British people overwhelmingly reject the prejudiced rhetoric of the far right, which is the antithesis of the values that this country represents — decency, tolerance and respect,” British Prime Minister Theresa May’s office said in a statement. “It is wrong for the president to have done this.”

The Council of American-Islamic Relations also condemned the tweets. The group’s executive director, Nihad Awad, said Trump is “clearly telling members of his base that they should hate Islam and Muslims.”

“Trump’s posts amount to incitement to violence against American Muslims,” he said. “His actions should be condemned by all American political and religious leaders, regardless of their party or faith.”

Fransen’s first tweet read: “VIDEO: Islamist mob pushes teenage boy off roof and beats him to death!”

“VIDEO: Muslim Destroys a Statue of Virgin Mary!” read another. “VIDEO: Muslim migrant beats up Dutch boy on crutches!” read a third.

The videos have not been independently authenticated.

[The Hill]

White House’s Sarah Huckabee Sanders says ‘Pocahontas’ is not a racial slur

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Monday denied that President Donald Trump was using a racial slur in referring to Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., as “Pocahontas.”

Trump used the term again Monday to describe Warren, during a White House event for Native American military veterans.

Asked why Trump would choose to use a phrase that many people find offensive, Sanders said that “what most people find offensive is Senator Warren lying about her heritage to advance her career.” She added that seeing Trump’s use of “Pocahontas” as a racial slur was a “ridiculous response,” because it was not.

“I don’t believe that it is appropriate for [the president] to make a racial slur, or anybody else,” Sanders said, but “I don’t think that it is [a racial slur] and I certainly don’t think that was the president’s intent.”

Warren is one of Trump’s most outspoken critics in the Senate, and for years, Trump has relished referring to her as “Pocahontas,” a reference to Warren’s claim that her family has Native American heritage.

At the White House on Monday, Trump told the veterans, who were “code talkers” in World War II, “You were here long before any of us were here. Although we have a representative in Congress who, they say, was here a long time ago. They call her Pocahontas.” As soon as Trump said it, the room fell silent.

Sanders, however, claimed that Trump’s respect for the veterans was reflected more in his actions than necessarily in his words.

“The president certainly finds an extreme amount of value and respect for these individuals. He’s constantly showing ways to honor those individuals,” she said.

Warren, however, was less forgiving. Responding to Trump’s remarks on MSNBC, the Massachusetts Democrat said it is “deeply unfortunate that the president of the United States cannot even make it through a ceremony honoring these heroes without having to throw out a racial slur.”

Later Monday, Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye said the remark was unfortunate.

“In this day and age, all tribal nations still battle insensitive references to our people. The prejudice that Native American people face is an unfortunate historical legacy,” Begaye said in a statement.

While the Navajo Nation appreciated the honor and recognition bestowed upon its “code talkers,” Begaye said, it does not want to be a part of this “ongoing feud” between the senator and the president.

 

Hours after Trump calls US justice system ‘a laughingstock,’ White House denies he ever did

The White House on Wednesday flatly denied that President Donald Trump had ever called the American criminal justice system “a joke and a laughingstock,” just hours after Trump said precisely that during a televised Cabinet meeting.

“We need quick justice and we need strong justice — much quicker and much stronger than we have right now — because what we have right now is a joke, and it’s a laughingstock,” Trump said at the meeting.

The president’s remark followed a terror attack in New York City on Tuesday that killed eight people. The suspect, Sayfullo Saipov, was shot on the scene and quickly taken into custody. Authorities later found items that indicate the attack was inspired by ISIS.

A few hours after Trump’s Cabinet meeting, CNN’s Jim Acosta asked White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, “Why did the president call the U.S. justice system a joke and a laughingstock?”

“That’s not what he said,” Sanders replied. “He said that process has people calling us a joke and a laughingstock.”

Sanders went on to say that the president was frustrated by how long and costly it is to prosecute individuals accused of terror-related crimes under U.S. law.

“Particularly for someone to be a known terrorist, that process should move faster. That’s the point [Trump] is making. That’s the frustration he has,” she said.

To be sure, Trump did express his frustration at the slow pace of the justice system during his Cabinet meeting, saying the nation needed “to come up with a punishment that’s far quicker and far greater than the punishment these animals are getting right now.” But he never said there were “people calling us a joke.”

Wednesday’s press briefing left reporters stunned, as they compared Sanders’ denial with the official transcript of Trump’s remarks in the Cabinet meeting.

CNBC asked the White House to clarify how Sanders could have claimed “that’s not what [the president] said” when that was, in fact, precisely what the president said. The White House did not immediately respond.

[CNBC]

Media

Trump calls US justice system ‘a laughing stock,’ White House denies it from CNBC.

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