The media is to blame for President Donald Trump once again attacking a female journalist using a misogynistic and disturbing blood image, White House Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders insisted at today’s televised White House press briefing.
“The president has been attacked mercilessly … by that [Morning Joe] program. And I think he’s been very clear that, when attacked he’s going to hit back,” she said of POTUS’ controversial tweet about Mika Brzezinski. “The American people elected somebody who’s tough, who is smart and who is a fighter. It’s Donald Trump. And I don’t think it’s a surprise to anybody that he fights fire with fire,” Huckabee Sanders insisted stoutly.
This in response to the first question, which went to John Roberts, White House correspondent at Friend-of-Trump network Fox News Channel. He noted that Sanders appeared already on his network and said Trump had the right to defend himself and it is “no secret this program has been very critical” of Trump. But Roberts noted, the “nature of this morning’s tweet” has drawn condemnation even from House Speaker Paul Ryan and other “Trump allies.”
“Did he go too far in his deeply personal response,” Robert said, queuing up Huckabee Sanders’ reply, “I don’t think so.”
MSNBC’s Morning Joe has called Trump and members of his staff some “deeply personal” things, she said. It’s “like living in The Twilight Zone,” she complained, for reporters in the briefing to suggest that, while the show is “doing this, day after day,” when Trump “responds and defends himself, everybody is appalled and blown away.”
“Frankly if this had happened in the previous administration, this type of attack” – she ticked off: “utterly stupid,” “personality disorder,” “mentally ill“ and calling members of Trump’s team “liars” to their faces – “the rest of the media would have said to Morning Joe, ‘Guys! No way!”
“But nobody does that,” she complained.
Trump had kicked off his Thursday by tweeting:
Somebody in the briefing room reminded Sanders that Trump gained early political currency as head of the birther movement, in which he insulted Obama for years with bogus claims he was not born in this country and therefore held the office illegally.
She insisted the focus on Trump having singled out Morning Joe’s female co-host Brzezinski particularly aggressively, and with yet another blood image – similar to his “you could see blood coming out of here wherever” blast of then-Fox News host Megyn Kelly after she moderated the first GOP debate – was a “false narrative.”
Asked if she’s going to tell her kids “this behavior is OK,” Huckabee Sanders responded: “When it comes to role models, as a person of faith, I think we all have one perfect role model. And when I’m asked that question, I point to God, and to my faith. And that’s where I tell my kids to look.”
During the briefing, Sanders insisted Trump was focused and prioritizing his party’s agenda for the country, “but he is not going to sit back and be attacked by the liberal media, Hollywood elites. When they hit him, he’s going to hit back,” she said, playing to the camera.
It was only the second time this week the briefing was held on camera.
Asked if she thought Trump’s tweets contribute to a hostile atmosphere that can lead to violence, Sanders shot back, inaccurately, “The president in no way, form or fashion has ever promoted or encouraged violence. Quite the contrary.”
As Sanders grew increasingly frustrated with the continued questions about the tweets, she began dismissing them as “asked and answered.”
“The president is pushing back against people who attack him, day after day after day. Where is the outrage on that?” she complained. “You guys are constantly coming and asking, ‘Is this OK? He does it one time; you guys are day after day after day.
“The only person I see a war on is this president, and everyone that works for him,” she continued to scold media in the room.
“The American people elected a fighter. They knew what they were getting, and he won overwhelmingly.”