During a recent press briefing at the White House, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked by CNN’s Jim Acosta, a well-known proponent of “fake news,” if it’s true that President Donald Trump watches “Fox & Friends” in the morning and then tweets about it. Instead of answering his question directly, Sanders instead just claimed that he was sad that President Trump wasn’t watching CNN.
Clearly offended, Acosta attempted to push back against her comment by suggesting that President Trump actually watches “a lot CNN.” Sanders, however, channeled her superior wit and promptly shut him down by telling him that if the president did, in fact, watch as much of the “fake news” channel as Acosta had suggested, then their ratings would be higher.
Specifically, while speaking to Sanders earlier this week at a White House press conference, Acosta asked, “There seems to be a pattern…where the president watches something on Fox & Friends…There have been folks out there who’ve said there’s a cause and effect. He watches something on “Fox & Friends” and then he tweets about it. Is that [happening]and does that go on?”
In response, Sanders stated, “I’m sure you’re disappointed that he’s not watching CNN.”
Upon hearing this, Acosta replied, “I think he’s watching a lot of CNN if you don’t mind me saying.”
Without hesitation, though, Sanders completely dismissed his claim. “I don’t think that’s true. I think your numbers would be higher,” countered Sanders, whose comments were met with gasps and groans. Acosta then tried to defend his employer but Sanders refused to dwell on the subject and promptly went on to talk about other topics.
Unsurprisingly, this is not the first time in the past few weeks that Sanders has used her incredible wit to shut down a reporter’s absurd claim. At a different press conference a couple of weeks ago, she also pushed back against a reporter who suggested that President Trump was corrupt because he gave campaign contributions to a senator in the past.
Specifically, during Monday’s press briefing at the White House, a reporter questioned Sanders about money that President Trump previously gave to Sen. Kristen Gillibrand (D-NY). “The President gave almost $8,000 dollars to Sen. Gillibrand over the years. His daughter also gave her $2,000. What specifically did they get for these contributions?” asked the reporter.
In response, Sanders told him that people typically donate for “access.” In an attempt to explain, she stated, “a member of Congress will take your phone call. They’ll take your meeting. And if you’re driving something as a businessman that the President may or may not be driving at any particular point, you can talk to that individual about it and sometimes they’ll carry your water.”
Sanders then added, “that’s the reason that we have a broken system. That’s the reason that often special interests control our government more than the people do.”
She also mentioned that wanting to fix the broken system was “one of the reasons that [Trump] ran to be president” and “one of the top reasons that he won and that he’s sitting in the oval office today and Hillary Clinton is not.” To clarify, she claimed that “[Trump] couldn’t be bought and everybody knew that [Clinton] could because they have seen it time and time again.”
During that same press conference, Sanders also shut down a reporter who suggested that Trump included a sexual innuendo in a tweet about Sen. Gillibrand. “Is Gillibrand owed an apology for the misunderstanding of the President’s tweet this morning because many…thought it was a sexual innuendo?” asked the reporter.
“Only if your mind is in the gutter would you have read it that way, so no,” replied Sanders, almost immediately.
When the reporter tried to object, Sanders added, “he’s obviously talking about political partisan games that people often play and the broken system that he’s talked about repeatedly. This isn’t new. This isn’t a new sentiment. This isn’t new terminology,” noting, “he’s used it several times before referencing men of both parties, in fact. And so, I think that if you look back at the past comments that he’s made, it’s very clear what his reference was.”
Without a doubt, Sanders has been doing an excellent job of keeping reporters in check thus far. Hopefully, she keeps it up!