Press briefings between White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders and the White House press corps are continuing to deteriorate.
Some members of the press corps are acting like two-year-olds who lack professionalism.
There is simply no other way to describe it.
And when Sanders pushes back and doesn’t give in to their rude behavior, they get “angry.”
Monday’s briefing was no exception.
Reporters were frustrated when Sanders would not answer their questions in the manner they wanted her to answer.
New York Times’ Peter Baker was the first to ask Sanders if President Donald Trump thought he was above the law because Trump tweeted earlier in the day that he had the “absolute right” to pardon himself.
As has been stated by numerous legal scholars, I have the absolute right to PARDON myself, but why would I do that when I have done nothing wrong? In the meantime, the never ending Witch Hunt, led by 13 very Angry and Conflicted Democrats (& others) continues into the mid-terms!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 4, 2018
Baker kept pressing Sanders to answer a conclusion that Baker had drawn about the meaning of Trump’s tweet.
Trump wasn’t saying he’s above the law. His point was that although he believes he has the right to pardon himself, he had no intentions of doing so because he had done nothing wrong.
Baker wanted it to appear otherwise by how he phrased his question. It was a “gotcha question” that he was hoping Sanders would fall for. She didn’t.
Sanders responded, “Certainly, no one is above the law.”
Baker wasn’t satisfied with that answer and kept pressing Sanders for the answer he wanted.
The remainder of the exchange went as follows after Sanders tried to move on to the next person:
“I’m going to keep going right here,” she said.
“I just want to ask …” Baker responded.
“Sorry, Peter, we’re going to keep moving,” Sanders replied.
“But I’m going to Sarah, I think this is important …”
“I’m going to continue to keep going.”
While I am a strong advocate for the First Amendment and a person’s right to free expression even if I don’t agree with what that person is saying, the press at times takes advantage of that right and appears to believe that it’s permissible for them to be unprofessional in the process.
There is a way to get to the truth without disrespecting someone even if you don’t like them because she happens to work for Trump.
Next, Brian Karem, the White House correspondent for Playboy (there really is a White House correspondent for Playboy?) demanded to know if Trump would ever come to the White House briefings (instead of Sanders) and wanted to know if anyone in the White House had ever thought of asking Trump to stay away from Twitter.
Sanders response was spot on.
“The president uses Twitter to communicate directly to the American people. Frankly, you have the ability to choose what you want to write about, and you guys choose to write about things the American people don’t care about, day in and day out, and that’s a decision that you make. And frankly, I think it’s the wrong one.”
All the while Sanders was responding, Karem kept interrupting to ask if Trump was coming to the press briefings.
Where did Karem and other members of the press learn how to conduct themselves as journalists and reporters?
Sanders also frustrated the press by refusing to answer questions regarding an admission by Trump’s lawyers that Trump wrote a memo on behalf of his eldest son regarding a meeting Trump Jr. had with Russians in 2016.
Sanders has repeatedly indicated in almost every press briefing that she can not answer for Trump’s legal counsel.
Sanders doesn’t work for Trump’s lawyers and can’t speak on their behalf.
So, when she once again directed the press back to Trump’s attorneys for an answer, they of course didn’t like that they couldn’t goad her into answering on the attorneys’ behalf.
Finally, as always, when there is controversy during a press briefing you can be assured that CNN’s Jim Acosta’s name will surface.
And, true to form, Acosta asked the most ridiculous question.
The exchange between Acosta and Sanders was as follows:
Acosta asked if it was “appropriate” for Rudy Giuliani, one of Trump’s lawyers, to make up a hypothetical about Trump being impeached after shooting former FBI Director James Comey.
Sanders said he would have to ask Giuliani about that comment and dismissed Acosta.
Acosta would not move on. The exchange continued:
“If I can ask a follow-up question …” he said.
“Not today, Jim,” Sanders replied.
“Others have had follow-up questions …”
“They haven’t, actually,” Sanders said.
“They have had follow-up questions,” Acosta said before being ignored.
While the majority of Americans don’t think the press should ask softball questions like they did with former President Obama, many Americans believe that the questions the mainstream media are now posing have more to do with their own 15 minutes of fame, “gotcha questions” and nothing of substance.
While Americans want relevant questions posed to the President, most know they won’t get them from the press corps.
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