The Wednesday edition of the White House Press briefing was mostly in line with previous sessions. Sarah Huckabee Sanders conducted her routine delivery of lies posing as responses to reporters’ questions. Although there were some inquiries that are unique to Donald Trump’s administration. Such as how the President justifies his baseless claims that his campaign was infiltrated by FBI spies. Or whether Trump had spoken to Roseanne Barr after her show was cancelled due to her racist tweeting.
However, the most extraordinary moment of the briefing was when Benje Choucroun was recognized for a question. Choucroun is a student at Marin Country Day School and was attending the briefing as a correspondent for Time for Kids magazine. His question was one that has special significance for all of America’s kids, and adults as well. He asked (video below):
“At my school, we recently we had a lockdown drill. One thing that affects mine and other students’ mental health is worrying about the fact that we or our friends could get shot at school. Specifically, can you tell me what the administration has done and will do to prevent these senseless tragedies?”
Considering that it has been less than two weeks since the most recent fatalities at the shooting at Santa Fe High School, this is a pertinent question that deserves a straight answer. Unfortunately, he was directing it to someone who had no intention of providing that kind of answer. Sanders very obviously evaded the question, declining to address it with the specifics that Choucroun requested:
“I think that as a kid and certainly as a parent, there is nothing that could be more terrifying for a kid to go to school and not feel safe, so I am sorry that you feel that way. This administration takes it seriously and the school safety commission that the president convened is meeting this week in an official meeting to discuss the best ways forward and how we can do every single thing within our power to protect kids in our schools and to make them feel safe and make their parents feel good about dropping them off.”
It’s notable that Sanders’ voice broke with apparent emotion while giving this reply. But that didn’t make the answer any less hollow and devoid of substance. She basically said that it’s too bad that you have to suffer like this and we are holding meetings to talk about it. She didn’t mention that the meetings were often restricted to the leadership of the National Rifle Association, or other partisan groups who refuse to acknowledge that guns are a major part of the problem. This administration has sold out the lives of America’s children for the profits of the NRA and its weapons manufacturer members.
It will be interesting to see what Choucroun’s report looks like when it’s published. For the most part, it has been the kids who have provided the most honest and effective dialog on this issue, beginning with the courageous students from Parkland, Florida’s Stoneman Douglas High School. And while it’s disappointing that Trump’s spokesperson so brazenly dodged Choucroun’s question, it’s inspiring that he asked it so profoundly and articulately.
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Saying he recently had a lockdown drill at his school, child in White House press briefing asks Press Sec. Sanders what the Trump administration is doing to prevent school shootings. https://t.co/CFdzczE0fE pic.twitter.com/xPb1LKaKo8
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) May 30, 2018