White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders held a rare press briefing today to insist President Donald Trump did not mock Christine Blasey Ford, Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s accuser, the previous night at a Mississippi campaign rally.
Sanders insisted Trump only was “stating facts” when he delivered this performance, which Fox News Channel calls “Trump mocks Christine Blasey Ford at Mississippi rally” on YouTube:
“I dispute that it was anything other than the president stating the facts,” Sanders said in her first formal press briefing since September 10.
Trump’s Ford mocking is not the problem, the White House representative told reporters. It’s the “disgrace” of Democrats who have shown “no regard of the process, decency, or standards” of Supreme Court nominee confirmation hearings.
Even Fox News’ John Roberts asked Sanders why Trump took his nasty tone, given the blowback that has ensued next day from three GOP senators who are on the fence about Kavanaugh and whose votes will be the difference between Kavanaugh’s confirmation or not, Jeff Fake, Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski.
“Insensitive and appalling” Flake called it. “The president’s comments were just plain wrong,” added Collins. “Wholly inappropriate and entirely unacceptable” chimed in Murkowski.
Sanders cribbed from Kellyanne Conway’s script earlier in the day, insisting “the president was stating fact” though, in fairness, she stopped short of using Conway’s gag that Ford has “been treated like a Fabergé egg by all of us, beginning with me and the president.”
And, no White House press briefing would be complete without the traditional Sanders vs. Jim Acosta slow dance:
Isn’t there something “wrong” with the President of the United States mocking somebody who says that she was sexually assaulted? wondered CNN’s Jim Acosta.
“He said that he was stating facts that Dr. Ford herself laid out in her testimony,” Sanders answered “Once again, every single word that Judge Kavanaugh has said has been looked at, examined, picked apart by most of you in this room.”
“Are you saying Judge Kavanaugh is the victim in all this?” Acosta asked.
Kavanaugh and Ford both are “victims at the hands of the Democrats,” Sanders shot back. “I think it is absolutely disgraceful what they have done and exploited this process. They exploited Dr. Ford and all the women that have come out to make any accusation.”
Acosta wondered if she had “any problem defending” Trump’s rally rant.
“I don’t have any problem stating facts, no,” Sanders said, snarking, “I know that is something that you probably do have a problem with.”
Acosta took the bait.
“Actually, we do state the facts,” he fired back. “And I think there have been many occasions when you don’t state the facts.”