I’d be willing to bet that inside the Trump West Wing, the communications team calls it a “tried and true” approach to emerging scandals, lawsuits, court filings, or revelations regarding the ongoing Russia investigation: Come out swinging, downplay the seriousness of whatever is circulating in the media, and insist that it of course “has nothing to do with the President.”
In fact, that last sentence seems to make up around seventy-five percent of Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ job when anything unflattering surfaces that clearly totally does have to do with Trump.
But every time she uses the line, it gets a little sillier. Today’s example comes courtesy of her interview with CNN’s John Berman, who brought up the subpoenas issued last night for a trove of documents from the Trump Inaugural Committee by US Attorneys in the Southern District of New York.
Berman brought up the court order — issued over charges of money laundering, false statements, illegal donations from foreign sources, and a host of other very serious allegations — just as Sanders appeared to be getting comfortable in their conversation.
She pivoted almost immediately to the standard disclaimer:
I’m reading the same reports you are this morning … what I do know at this point is that this has nothing to do with the White House, and for anything specific and further I’d refer you back to the Trump Inaugural Committee.”
Berman, of course, pointed out that Trump sits in the White House, and it was his campaign, his inauguration, and his transition, calling Trump the “common thread” across all of the various investigations. Sanders felt that the “common thread” was “hysteria” over the fact that Trump was elected.
Those things that have taken place literally have nothing to do with the President and they have everything to do with the fact that people are spending their entire life doing nothing but trying to find negatives, when in fact the President has been incredibly successful.”
I mean I guess if you’re gonna go with that again, Sarah, that’s up to you. But it’s a little more tried these days, and a little less true. And it certainly doesn’t do anything to indicate that the reports behind the subpoenas are false — just that you want to distance the President from them.
Watch the exchange here:
Featured image via screen capture