The key surrogates in Donald Trump’s administration are a notorious confederacy of liars and knee-jerk defenders of the indefensible. People like press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and the White House communications office turned obfuscation and deflection into an art form. As result, it is almost impossible to get a straight or truthful answer from this administration on any subject of importance.
However, they hit a new low with what may be one of the dumbest questions ever asked by a presidential spokesperson. Kellyanne Conway stopped to respond to a few questions from the press gaggle at the White House on Friday morning. Referring to the dictator-style revocation of CIA Director John Brennan’s security clearance, a reporter asked Conway as she walked away if Trump was “politically targeting his enemies.” That, of course, goes without saying. It’s something he has always done and no one could credibly deny it.
So naturally, Conway turns around and returns to the media scrum to deny it (video below). She began by saying that Brennan is a cable news pundit now who has “no interest in furthering the national security interests of this country.” That’s an absurd charge to make against someone who has spent his whole life in public service and particularly national security. She then complained about Brennan’s assertion that Trump did collude with Russia, saying that he should have told that to Congress when he testified before them. She added “It’s a great question. You oughta noodle it.” Really?
Conway, though, is ignoring two obvious noodlings that could explain it for her. First of all, much of Brennan’s testimony was in closed session and may very well have raised alarms about Trump’s nefarious associations with Russia. That cannot be made public. Secondly, there has been a lot of information uncovered since his congressional testimony more than a year ago that provides additional evidence of Trump’s guilt. Brennan’s conclusion that Trump did indeed conspire with Russian operatives to advance his candidacy is one that is shared by many in the intelligence community.
But when it comes to stupid questions, Conway offered one of the worst in replying to further questions by the press corps:
“Why is everybody so obsessed with the President of the United States that they can’t even begin or finish a sentence without mentioning his name five times. It’s kind of weird. And it’s infecting people on the news now who fancy themselves security experts.”
So Conway just asked a bunch of White House correspondents why they ask so many questions about the person it is their job to ask questions about. Weird. It’s like complaining about a waiter who keeps asking people what they’d like to order. What’s more, no one is has a greater obsession with the President than Donald Trump. He takes every opportunity to make sure that his name and face are plastered across all the media and that the nation’s attention is always focused on him.
So would Conway prefer that the press didn’t pay as much attention to him as they currently do? That would drive him even crazier. And it would surely be a disservice to the American people who rely on the press to keep them informed. But Conway’s question reflects the adversarial position that the Trump administration has with the First Amendment. They would love to deny the media – and the people – the critical information needed to sustain a free democracy. But then a free democracy is not what the wannabe dictator Trump wants.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.
Kellyanne Conway: "Why is everybody so obsessed with the President of the United States that they can't even begin or finish a sentence without mentioning his name five times? It's kind of weird." pic.twitter.com/XJXt0i5LEP
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) August 17, 2018