Sarah Huckabee Sanders Trumpslains the President's Mocking of Christine Blasey Ford

Photo: Chip Somodevilla (Getty Images)

Both Donald Trump and his proxy, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, continue their public defense of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. In the latest White House press briefing, Sanders also goes so far as to say defend the president’s mocking of Christine Blasey Ford during a rally in Southaven, Miss., Tuesday.


Sanders opened her portion of the briefing by reminding all of us that we would receive the annoying presidential interruption on our phones today via the Emergency Alert system at 2:18 p.m. ET and 2:20 p.m. ET, because what we really need is the president to have the ability to send us random messages on our phone, unfettered by blocks and any other methods we may use to protect ourselves against each other.

After advising that Trump would travel to Florida on Monday to address the International Association of Chiefs of Police, Sanders immediately launched into a lambasting of what she calls “a coordinated smear campaign” against Kavanaugh.

“On the night President Trump nominated Judge Brett Kavanaugh, Senator Schumer declared the Democrats would oppose this nomination with everything they had,” Sanders said, reading from a prepared statement. “Before a single document was produced, a single meeting with a senator, or a hearing was ever scheduled, Chuck Schumer and the Senate Democrats telegraphed a strategy to throw the kitchen sink at the judge with no regard for the process, decency or standards.

“They’re not opposed to Judge Kavanaugh’s judicial views; they’re literally trying to undercut the voice of the American people when they elected Donald Trump,” Sanders continued. “They have questioned his legitimacy and casually tossed around vicious accusations of perjury. All false and baseless, but now they’ve sunk lower as they’ve sprang these 11th hour accusations and a full-scale assault on Judge Kavanaugh’s integrity. This is a coordinated smear campaign. No evidence, no independent corroboration—just smears.”


She then quoted several Democratic members of the Senate, including Chuck Schumer, who have spoken out against Kavanaugh’s nomination to illustrate her point.


“One thing is clear,” Sanders said, “Democrats want to block Kavanaugh and hold the seat open until the 2020 election. This is about politics and this about power—pure and simple.”

“They’ve destroyed Judge Kavanaugh’s reputation, undermined Dr. Ford’s privacy and tried to upend our traditions of innocence until proven guilty in the process. It’s a complete and total disgrace,” Sanders continued.


She said they will receive and submit the FBI’s supplemental background investigation on Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Senate. She quoted then quoted Mitch McConnell, who said Kavanaugh deserves a “prompt vote” and said “we expect him to get one” before opening the floor to questions.

The first reporter brought up the reactions Sens. Flake and Collins had to Donald Trump’s mocking of Christine Blasey Ford at his rally the night prior. He asked Sanders “Knowing how sensitive this issue is and how important it would be if the FBI investigation shows no other compelling evidence to keep Judge Kavanaugh from the court...why did the president say what he did last night and the way that he said it?”


Sanders: “The president was stating the facts and frankly facts that were included in special prosecutor Rachel Mitchell’s report. He was stating facts that were given during Dr. Ford’s testimony. And the Senate has to make a decision based on those facts and whether or not they see Judge Kavanaugh to be qualified to hold the position on the Supreme Court. Every single word Judge Kavanaugh has said has been picked apart—every single word, second by second of his testimony has been picked apart—yet if anybody says anything about the accusations that have been thrown against him, that’s totally off limits and outrageous. This entire process has been a disgrace, and the only reason that it has been that way is because Senate Democrats didn’t do this the way that it should have been done, and they circumvented the entire system and frankly, they’ve undermind-ed our entire judicial branch by the way that they’ve acted in the inappropriateness of which they’ve conducted themselves.”


No, I did not make a typo. She definitely said “underminded.” I listened multiple times to make sure I heard that correctly.

All of that aside, notice how Sanders tried to make it as though the president was simply saying what Ford said during her testimony—like he was pointing out inconsistencies in her testimony. She glossed over the fact that he did so in a mocking tone, mimicking her voice and that of the person questioning her.


The same reporter called that out by saying, “Pointing out inconsistencies in testimony is one thing, but the tone with which the president did it last night clearly had an effect on two key swing votes for his nomination. Is the president concerned that he may have put the votes in danger by doing what he did last night?”

Sanders: “I don’t think so. The president’s very confident in his nominee, as he’s stated time and time again, and we expect the Senate to vote and we hope they do that soon,” Sanders replied.


It is both interesting and sad that as a woman, Sander herself wouldn’t even acknowledge that there was a problem with the way in which her fuhrer mocked Ford. And does she not see the irony in complaining about the “inappropriate” behavior of Democrats while her president is out there doing the same thing?


Another reporter asked Sanders if she wasn’t trying to have it both ways by criticizing Democrats for their attacks on Kavanaugh while glossing over Trump’s mocking of Ford the night before.

“Not at all. We’re pointing out the hypocrisy. Again, none of this would be taking place if Democrats had done this in a normal order and not exploited Dr. Ford and attacked Judge Kavanaugh in such a public manner. All of this could have been handled completely differently. And the Senate Democrats hold all the responsibility for that process,” Sanders said.


A female reporter pointed out that just days ago, Trump described Ford as “a very credible, very compelling witness” but now he’s making her out to be a liar. “So which is it?” the reporter asked.

“Certainly the testimony by Dr. Ford was compelling, but you can’t make this decision based on emotion. It has to be based on fact,” Sanders said. “They have to determine what the facts are of this case. That’s one of the reasons that they asked and begged for the FBI and delayed a hearing vote so that they could get more facts on this case. We expect the FBI to turn those facts over to the Senate and they can make a determination based on that. That’s all we’re asking for.”


The same reporter wasn’t going to let Sanders wiggle away on this one. She asked, “You said that he was stating the facts at that campaign rally, but this was so much more than stating the facts. This was a full-scale campaign rally assault on a woman who says she is the victim of sexual assault. What do you get out of that? Is that to help Kavanaugh’s nomination? Is this to rally the base? Is this going to help with the midterms? What’s the point in doing that?”


“Again, I dispute that it wasn’t anything other than the president stating facts. In fact, facts that were laid out in the prosecutor’s memo that she put forward to the Senate. Each of the things that he called out were things that were laid out in that memo,” Sanders said, her body folding around her sword as she fell on it.

Sander’s sense of womanhood and her political and social support of her president are at war with each other.


It’s worth watching the entirety of Sanders’ portion of the press briefing if only to witness the number of times she uses circumlocution to get around answering a the same direct question that was asked a number of different ways.

Your president said Christine Blasey Ford was a credible and compelling witness. Does he believe that or not?

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About the author

Monique Judge

News Editor for The Root. I said what I said. Period.