Press brief blues

Don’t worry, not going to inflict another ukulele ditty on you…yet.

The nice thing about the new job is that it gives me a fair amount of time of during the week so I can watch the White House pres briefings on CNN.

When Sean Spicer was “in charge” (as if anyone can really be said to be “in charge” of anything in the current regime), there were the obvious missteps from the beginning, such as when he out-and-out lied when stating

It went downhill from there. Credibility — not that there was ever that much to begin  with — was a non-starter.

Now we have a new minion in Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who similarly can’t offer a straight answer to the simplest of questions. To be fair, I’m paying a lot more attention now than I ever did when it comes to these things, so I can’t say that previous administrations didn’t do the same things. But it doesn’t seem likely. Her attempts at humor are embarrassing, like that one kid in your high school class who was always trying to be funny but failed miserably. In today’s conference, Sanders was asked if Trump lied when he claimed to have received congratulatory calls from the leaders of the Boy Scouts and the president of Mexico, calls which both of the supposed callers denied.


White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders listens to a reporters question during the daily briefing at the White House in Washington, Monday, July 31, 2017. Sanders was asked about President Donald Trump's decision to remove Anthony Scaramucci from his position as communications director after 11 days and other topics. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)Asked about Trump’s claim that Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto called him to praise his border policy, a claim Peña Nieto disputed on Monday, Sanders said Trump was in fact referencing “a conversation that they had had at the G20 summit.”

Trump on Monday [Aug. 1] claimed specifically that Peña Nieto “called” to give him “the ultimate compliment” on his border policy. Peña Nieto’s office on Monday said he had “not recently communicated with President Donald Trump by phone.”

Sanders also defended Trump’s claim that the Boy Scouts called him to praise a speech he made at the organization’s national jamboree.

“In terms of the Boy Scouts, multiple members of the Boy Scout leadership following his speech there that day congratulated him, praised him, and offered quite — I’m looking for the word — quite powerful compliments,” she said.

“I got a call from the head of the Boy Scouts saying it was the greatest speech that was ever made to them, and they were very thankful,” Trump claimed in an interview with the Wall Street Journal (Politico published the transcript).

The Boy Scouts told Time on Tuesday that they were not aware of any call from the organization’s leadership to the White House.

“But the President specifically said that he received a phone call from the President of Mexico and the leader of the Boy Scouts,” a reporter said to Sanders.

“They were direct conversations, not phone calls,” she replied.

“So he lied. He didn’t receive that’s a phone call,” the reporter pressed.

“That’s a pretty bold accusation. The conversations took place. They just simply didn’t take place over a phone call. He had them in person,” Sanders said. “I wouldn’t say it was a lie.”

Yes, Sarah, we know you wouldn’t. But this is representative of the type of non-information we’ve come to expect from these little get-togethers.

And if Trump can’t tell the difference between talking to someone on the phone and in person, well, that’s worrisome. Of course, he could always clarify his comments (not offering an apology, heaven forfend), but you know he won’t.


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