White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders stuck to her “pay no attention to that man behind the curtain with the Twitter account” agenda at Wednesday’s press briefing, insisting “all options are on the table” with regard to a response to a Syrian gas attack on citizens.
All options includes diplomacy, she insisted, despite President Donald Trump having kicked off his day tweeting:
“Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria. Get Ready, Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and ‘smart!’ You shouldn’t be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!”
Trump’s tweet came two days after Mr. “I Don’t Telegraph My Intentions Like Obama Did” told reporters at the White House that he would make a decision in 24-48 hours on U.S. response to Syrian ruler Bashar al-Assad’s weekend gas attack on locals in that country’s eastern region.
Sanders told reporters to pay no mind to Trump’s tweet shortly after Secretary of Defense James Mattis did the same, telling press, “We are still assessing the intelligence” with allies and “working on this,” adding, “We stand ready to provide military options if they are appropriate.”
Sanders said Russia and Syria hold responsibility for the chemical attack.
But she blamed Robert Mueller for the bad blood between the U.S. and Russia, adding that focus on Russian collusion in the U.S. election has “hurt those relationships,” she scolded.
This time, she was speaking in support of another of Trump’s morning tweets:
And, speaking of telegraphing intent, Sanders was asked more than once if Trump intended to fire deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein or Mueller, and each time gave some iteration of “I have no personnel announcement at this time,” with the clock ticking to Friday – or FireDay, as it has become known in Trumpworld.
And, when a reporter asked if Trump would support legislation insuring Special Counsel Mueller not be fired – yes, really – Sanders responded, “We don’t have an administrative policy on that right now.”