On Tuesday, Sarah Huckabee Sanders gave the White House’s first press briefing in three weeks. She spent about 15 minutes at the podium, didn’t really give any answers of substance, and as she prepared to leave, was heckled by reporters in the room.
“Ten-minute briefing, Sarah?” one reporter asked incredulously.
“Do your job, Sarah,” another called after her as she practically ran from the room.
What exactly does the Trump White House have against press briefings?
A lot of what we learn about what “President” Donald Trump is thinking we get directly from him, in the form of knee-jerk tweets that are often puerile, antagonistic, full of exaggerations or straight out lies.
The “daily” press briefing would normally be an opportunity for reporters to ask Sanders to clarify or explain any of the president’s statements, but that is not how it usually goes when Sanders is at the podium.
She holds tightly to the reins of the briefings. Her answers tend to be scripted and generic. She doesn’t give anything up. She keeps the briefings very short and allows little opportunity for the type of question and answer session that might allow the press to keep the American people informed as to what is going on in the White House and with the administration.
If the questions about something Trump has said or is rumored to have said gets to be too much for Sanders, she is not above deflecting and saying “the president has already addressed that” to avoid answering.
As Politico pointed out in August when reporting on the dearth of press briefings, it’s almost as though press briefings with Sanders are useless because she is not forthcoming and she has frequently given out misleading or incorrect information.
Martha Joynt Kumar, a Towson University political science professor emeritus who tracks press interactions with the president as the director of the White House Transition Project, told Politico at the time that the value in the briefings is getting the White House on record.
Still, it’s kind of hard to get the White House on record when the person who is responsible for disseminating information doesn’t seem to want to do her job on a regular basis.
And that says everything about this administration.
If not for the tireless work of journalists who don’t stop digging and pushing until they get to the truth, we may not have any information about what is happening in the White House and in the Trump administration.
It is indicative of the dishonest nature with which this administration is run.
At the end of the day, Trump’s lies will continue to be exposed, and Sarah Huckabee Sanders will represent the cloak of secrecy under which Trump and his cronies continue on with their dirty dealings.
When they all get arrested and perp walked across the White House lawn, she needs to go right with them because she is a complicit enabler in their wrongdoing.
Simply put, she is the worst White House press secretary ever.