White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was in fine form on Monday as she faced a room full of accusatory reporters, calling out their twisted narratives.
After one reporter insisted that President Trump has never forcefully denounced Russia’s interference in the U.S. election process, Sanders fired back, pointing out that Trump has addressed it repeatedly with Russian President Vladimir Putin, slammed them with “unprecedented sanctions,” and been “extremely tough” on Russia.
“Frankly, I’m not sure why that is so hard for the media to write about,” she shot back. “We’ve repeated it time and time again.”
On Monday, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) called for Trump to remove the national security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan for making money off his clearance, according to Fox News. Sanders confirmed at the afternoon press conference that Trump was looking into that and could do the same for former FBI Director James Comey, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former Director of National Security Michael Hayden, former National Security Adviser Susan Rice, and former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, most of whom worked under President Obama.
Sanders said it’s a possibility “because they’ve policizied and, in some cases, monetized their public service and security clearances. Making baseless actions of improper contact with Russia, or been influenced by Russia against the president is extremely inappropriate.”
That’s huge. Take a quick look at what she said below:
One angry-faced reporter accused Trump of “threatening to punish Brennan, Comey, and Clapper for saying things about him that he doesn’t like.”
“Is that presidential?” he asked.
Sanders once again stated exactly why the president might remove their security clearances.
“So [it’s] their free speech he doesn’t like, and he wants to punish them for it?” the reporter demanded.
“No, I think you are creating your own story there,” Sanders fired back, adding that these former top officials are “politicizing agencies and departments that are specifically meant to not be political.”
Ouch. Take a look at that brief exchange below:
A female reporter piped up, saying, “Isn’t the president doing exactly what you just said the president doesn’t want all these people to doing — politicizing matters of national security by going after his political enemies?”
“No,” Sanders shot back, “the president is not making baseless accusations of improper contact with a foreign [Russian] government and accusing the president of the United States of treasonous activity when you have the highest level of security clearance; when you’re the person that holds the nation’s deepest, most sacred secrets at your hands; and you go out and make false accusations against the president of the United States.”
On the matter of Trump briefing his cabinet members on what was said during his private meeting with Putin last week, another female reporter insinuated that the president is forgetful and doesn’t taken notes.
“Is he relying solely on his own memory to tell that what happened during that two-hour meeting?” she asked accusingly.
After Sanders explained to her that the president knows how to give a briefing, she added, “I’m not going to go into specific details on how the president interacts every single time with his national security team.”
“But this is a rarity!” the young reporter insisted. “It’s a sit-down with the Russian president for two hours.”
“It’s not a rarity,” Sanders corrected her. “It’s a normal practice for two world leaders to able to have a conversation with one another.”
Watch the full 15-minute-long press conference below: