A White House Press Secretary’s primary job is to communicate information to the press so that they can deliver that information to the public. But in the Trump White House, that’s not the case. Instead, their job is to try and keep the press as in the dark as possible while tossing out red herrings or straight-up avoid the subject.
But when Sarah Huckabee Sanders tried that with April Ryan, the veteran reporter called Sanders out on stonewalling tactics.
During Tuesday’s press briefing, reporters grilled Sanders with questions about former White House staffer Rob Porter, who caused a massive scandal after it came out that abused multiple women, including two ex-wives and an ex-girlfriend. Additionally, Trump speechwriter David Sorenson also resigned due to spousal abuse.
It also turned out the at the FBI included these details in their reports to White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, who defended Porter.
Ryan joined the chorus of Porter questions, asking exactly how the White House is going to handle the interim clearances they’ve already given out. Considering what happened, was there a plan to expedite background checks.
“My understanding is that has been ongoing for a while,” Sanders answered, “and that determination would be made outside of anything I can walk you through at this point.”
After this non-answer, Ryan asked if the budgeting for the Violence Against Women Act was decided before or after the revelations about Porter were made public. Budget Director Mick Mulvaney didn’t elaborate on how much investigative funding the Act would receive.
Sanders said this was Ryan’s fault, telling her “you probably didn’t ask those questions.”
Ryan shot back, “you purposefully didn’t give us the information.”
But like everyone else in the trump Administration, Sanders had cowardly moved on as fast as possible.