If you ever wondered whether Sarah Huckabee Sanders was the right choice for President Donald Trump’s press secretary, consider these two facts: a) she’s never going to appear in an inchoate skit on the Emmy Awards that got liberals mad and b) she’s definitely not the kind of person you mess with.
If you ever needed any evidence of the latter point, consider this exchange from this May where she turned the tables on a reporter who tried to trap her.
The incident happened just days after former FBI Director James Comey was fired by President Donald Trump, back when Sanders would occasionally pinch-hit for the aforementioned Mr. Spicer. Jonathan Karl of ABC News asked Sanders about the firing.
“I asked you directly yesterday if the president had already decided to fire James Comey when he met with the deputy attorney general and attorney general, and you said no. Also the vice president of the United States said directly that the president acted to take the recommendation of the deputy attorney general to remove the FBI director,” Karl said. “Sean Spicer said directly, ‘It was all him,’ meaning the deputy attorney general. Now we learn from the president directly that he had already decided to fire James Comey. So why were so many people giving answers that just weren’t correct? Were you guys in the dark?”
Karl kept on trying to filibuster, but Sanders wouldn’t let him, laying into what she called a “false narrative” and noting that Democrats had wanted Comey fired for months over Hillary Clinton.
“Nobody was ‘in the dark,’ Jonathan,” Sanders said. “You want to create this false narrative. If you want to talk about contradicting statements and people that were maybe in the dark, how about the Democrats?
“Let’s read a few of them. You want to talk about them?” Sanders continued. “Here’s what Democrats said not long ago about Comey. Harry Reid said Comey should resign and be investigated by the Senate. Senator Chuck Schumer said, ‘I don’t have confidence in him any longer.’ Senator Bernie Sanders said it would not be a bad thing for the American people if Comey resigned.
“Nancy Pelosi said Comey was not in the right job,” Sanders continued. “Former DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Shultz said that she thought Comey was no longer able to serve in a neutral and credible way. President Obama’s advisor, Valerie Jarrett, reportedly urged him to fire Comey. Just yesterday, Representative Maxine Waters said that Hillary Clinton would have fired Comey.”
She concluded with a wrap-up of what she felt was the hypocrisy: “I think it’s extremely clear that — and, frankly, I think it’s kind of sad — in Washington, we finally have something that I think we should have all been able to agree on, and that was that Director Comey shouldn’t have been at the FBI, but the Democrats want to play partisan games. And I think that’s the most glaring thing that’s being left out of all of your process stories.”
In her short time as the White House’s public face, Sanders has made it clear she is no punching bag for reporters, and this exchange in the spring was a good sign of what was coming. When it comes to dealing with the media, the daughter of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee definitely got good genes.
Trying to trap her was definitely a mistake — and one Jonathan Karl paid a public price for. You know the old adage: the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
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