White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders refused to explain why she had told reporters President Donald Trump did not dictate Don Jr.’s initial statement about his Trump Tower meeting with a Russian lawyer with Putin tiesduring the campaign.
Last year Sanders said Trump “certainly didn’t dictate” the statement. But in a 20-page letter to the special counsel, Trump lawyers said Trump dictated the statement. Reporters at today’s briefing asked her what’s up with that.
Sanders pulled out of her bag o’ answers the one in which she refers their questions to Trump’s outside counsel. “You are referencing a letter that came from outside counsel; i would refer you to them to answer that question,” she responded patly. Twice.
“How are we supposed to know what to believe?” one reporter asked her. “How can believe what you are saying from the podium if his lawyers are saying it is inaccurate?”
“Once again, I can’t comment on a letter from the President’s outside counsel,” Sanders said, sticking with a strategy that has served her so well. “I direct you to them to answer it.”
This, though one reporter’s attempt to push back, saying, “The words…you said he did not dictate, the lawyers said he did. Which is it?”
“I’m not going to respond to a letter from the President’s outside counsel. We’ve purposely walled off, and I would refer you to them for comment.”
Sanders also got asked if Trump believes he is above the law.” It’s an understandable question, given that Trump tweeted this morning, “as has been stated by numerous legal scholars I have the absolute right to PARDON myself, but why would I do that when I have done nothing wrong?” He also tweeted, “the appointment of the Special Councel (since corrected to “Counsel”) is totally UNCONSTITUTIONAL!”
“Certainly not,” Sanders said, looking-through-her-lorgnette-ily. “The president hasn’t done anything wrong,” she added, covering her bases.
Which naturally led to a question: “Does the president believe The Framers envisioned a system where the president could pardon himself? Where he could be above the law?”
“Certainly the Constitution very clearly lays out the law,” Sanders said. “Once again the president hasn’t done anything wrong. And we feel comfortable on that front,” she reiterated.