The White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, is best known for her ability to dispassionately lie about any matter that arises in the course of the daily press briefings. It’s a skill that most of the rabid zealots in Donald Trump’s administration sorely lack. But it often comes across as callous when the subject requires some measure of empathy.
That was exhibited in spades on Thursday as Sanders was questioned about the heart-wrenching policy that Trump has enacted to rip crying children from the arms of their terrified parents. This policy has drawn broad condemnation from across the political spectrum, yet Trump and Co. refuse to halt its enforcement. That position took a peculiar turn when Attorney General Jeff Sessions cited a bible verse to justify his nauseating actions. However, the quotation he addressed only referred to obedience of the law, but made no reference to tearing families apart. Even Trump-supporting evangelical Franklin Graham called the policy “disgraceful.” At the daily press briefing, Sanders was asked by CNN’s Jim Acosta to comment on the remarks by Sessions (video below):
Acosta: On these children that are being separated from their families as they come across the border, the Attorney General earlier today said that somehow there is justification for this in the bible. Where does it say in the Bible that it’s moral to take children away from their mothers?
Sanders: I’m not aware of the Attorney General’s comment or what he would be referencing. I can say say that it is very biblical to enforce the law. That is actually repeated a number of times throughout the Bible.
Acosta: You just said it’s in the bible to follow the law…
Sanders: That’s not what I said. And I know it’s hard for you to understand even short sentences, I guess.
Huh? That’s exactly what she said just seconds before denying that she said it. This is advanced level gaslighting. And in the process of flagrantly lying about what she just said, Sanders delivers a wholly inappropriate insult with regard to Acosta’s ability to understand her short (dishonest) sentences. It’s notable that other reporters raised the same inquiries, but Acosta, a Latino reporter from CNN, was the only one she insulted. And if Sanders is looking for an appropriate bible verse to quote, she might try this one referring to refugees (sojourners) from Leviticus (19:33-34) which, when President Obama cited it, Fox News went berserk:
“33. And if a stranger sojourn with thee in your land, ye shall not do him wrong. 34. The stranger that sojourneth with you shall be unto you as the home-born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were sojourners in the land of Egypt.”
Sanders then went on to accuse Democrats of being responsible for the law requiring the separation of undocumented children from their parents. But there is no such law. It is being done as a result of an arbitrary policy implemented solely by the Trump administration. Nevertheless, Sanders said that Trump has called on Democrats to change the (nonexistent) law. But she fails to explain how Democrats could do that when they are in the minority and have no power to introduce or pass such legislation. Likewise, she ignores why Republicans, who do have the power, don’t just change the law themselves. Since they have the majority, they could make this issue go away overnight. What’s stopping them?
Among the other journalists questioning Sanders about this were Paula Reid of CBS, who advised Sanders, in vain, that there was no law mandating the separation of children. Also Brian Karem of Sentinel Newspapers made an impassioned plea asking “Sarah, you’re a parent. Don’t you have empathy for what these people are going through?” Sanders responded by recognizing a different reporter for an unrelated question. And that’s fairly typical of how she and Trump deal with difficult issues that require compassion and some expression of humanity.
Also brought up in the briefing were reports that Sanders and her deputy, Raj Shah, are planning their exit from the White House sometime this year. She would neither confirm nor deny the reports, but still criticized the reporting. We’ll see what she say when she actually leaves, which is all but certain. And we’ll also see what direction Trump will take when he names her replacement. I’m betting on Kimberly Guilfoyle of Fox News since she’s already sleeping with Don, Jr.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.