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The 13 times -- in 1 interview! -- Sarah Sanders failed to answer a very simple question

On Wednesday night, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders ...

Posted: Jun 8, 2018 12:03 PM
Updated: Jun 8, 2018 12:03 PM

On Wednesday night, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders sat down with CNN's Chris Cuomo. Cuomo started the interview with what seemed like a simple question. Here it is:

"This meeting matters, you know it does. I understand the reference to counsel. I get it. Not just because I'm an attorney, but you don't want to answer for the lawyers, you don't want to answer for an operation that you're not a part of. I get it. But you can answer for what you said. You don't have to refer to counsel for that. (Jay) Sekulow is not your lawyer. He's the President's lawyer. You're saying, he didn't dictate this. He did what any father would do. That turns out not to be true. You agree with that?"

And now for a quick bit of context: In August 2017, Sanders told the White House press corps that President Donald Trump had not dictated the statement from his son, Donald Trump Jr., to the New York Times regarding a June 2016 meeting with Russians at Trump Tower. According to a 20-page memo sent by Trump's legal team to special counsel Robert Mueller's office in January, Trump did, in fact, dictate the Don Jr. statement.

Which puts Sanders in a, um, precarious position. She quite clearly didn't tell the truth -- for some reason. She was either misinformed by someone above her or she purposely misled the press. Which is it? We don't know. Because Sanders won't answer any questions -- despite being questioned about it repeatedly by the press corps -- about the clear contradiction between her past statement and, well, the truth.

So. Cuomo asks Sanders to explain. And asks. And asks. And asks. And asks. And asks.

Below are the 13(!) "answers" Sanders offered Cuomo, in chronological order. I've added a few thoughts (in the narrator voice of Ron Howard on "Arrested Development") in italics after Sanders' "answers."

  1. "I know I answered this question on Monday. I answered it on Tuesday, and I'm going to answer it the same way today and you're probably not going to like it anymore on Wednesday than it sounds like you liked it on Monday or Tuesday. But this is a legal matter and the appropriate individuals to answer questions on a legal matter are the outside counsel." (She didn't answer it. Not any of those times.)
  2. "This is a legal process and I would refer you to the appropriate venue to answer questions on a legal back-and-forth. And that is the President's outside counsel. And that's who you should ask those questions of." (But, if it is a legal process now, why wasn't it a legal process back in August 2017? The special counsel had already been formed!)
  3. "If you guys want to talk about questions that have to do with White House policy and substantive policy, I'm happy to try to answer those and do the best I can to provide you that information. If you want to talk about things that don't have anything to do with me." (This does have to do with the White House! This is about the fundamental credibility of the communications operation at the White House.)
  4. "I don't understand having to answer the same question over and over and over again." (She does understand. The reason is because she hasn't answered it. Not once.)
  5. "No, that's not true. I've answered it, you just didn't like the answer. There's a big difference between me answering it and you not liking the answer." (There would be -- if she had answered the question. Which she hasn't.)
  6. "I'm not going to get into a back-and-forth with you. I've addressed it. The outside counsel has addressed it. They've answered this question over the last couple of days and I would refer you back to those comments." (Please refer back to my past non-answers. Also, you're welcome.)
  7. "I wish that we spent a lot less time focused on things the American people don't care about. I wish we spent a lot less time talking about this witch hunt and that we talked about things that impact everyday Americans. I wish we spent a lot more time talking about the economy." (This "witch hunt" has led to five guilty pleas, including from Trump's deputy campaign chairman and his national security adviser.)
  8. "I understand if you guys didn't want to put the veterans (on air) ... I think that's a sad decision you made." (Because you didn't run the entirety of an event featuring veterans, you are a) against Donald Trump b) sad.)
  9. "Again, that's a question you would have to ask the outside counsel. I'm not going to have a legal conversation with you here. If you want to talk about issues again that matter to the American people, I'm happy to do that." (Whether the White House can be trusted to, you know, tell the truth is something the American public is interested in.)
  10. "I've answered this question multiple times. And no matter how many times I answer it for you, it's not going to change. It's the same one." (She hasn't. And she won't.)
  11. "We are purposefully walling ourselves off and allowing the outside counsel to do their job. And we're doing ours." (But, but, but why then did she answer the question -- insisting Trump did not dictate the statement -- back in August 2017?)
  12. "I'm starting to regret sitting here, because I've answered the same question a million times." (But, well, you haven't answered it. Not even once.)
  13. "I'm very comfortable with my credibility and the fact that I think by sitting here right now and taking questions from you -- shows the type of person I am, shows my effort to provide information. And frankly, to be in an environment that's not exactly friendly, that's not exactly one that I think a lot of people in my position would come and sit in. And I think that speaks a lot to my credibility. And if you want to focus on my credibility, I think that's something you should certainly look at." (Credibility is premised on telling the truth. Sanders is not doing that. The end.)

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 608519

Reported Deaths: 9693
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion840461335
Lake45349684
Allen32803548
Hamilton29394315
St. Joseph27380381
Elkhart24404345
Vanderburgh19411249
Tippecanoe17970138
Johnson15069295
Porter14783169
Hendricks14401248
Madison10965221
Vigo10726181
Clark10677144
Monroe9383110
Delaware9116134
LaPorte9065163
Howard8236144
Kosciusko806983
Warrick672999
Hancock6697104
Bartholomew6484100
Floyd6428110
Wayne6136162
Grant5991115
Dubois555579
Boone551168
Morgan541295
Henry507864
Marshall503984
Cass483263
Dearborn479845
Noble473059
Jackson425047
Shelby417581
Lawrence391079
Clinton373043
Gibson370359
Harrison348144
DeKalb347164
Montgomery345754
Knox335639
Miami321444
Steuben313745
Whitley307326
Wabash303251
Adams300936
Ripley298445
Putnam296850
Huntington291659
Jasper289034
White273243
Daviess270474
Jefferson263338
Decatur247683
Fayette247148
Greene239862
Posey239328
Wells236051
LaGrange228862
Scott225339
Clay222532
Randolph213548
Jennings198936
Sullivan192333
Spencer191321
Washington186423
Fountain184027
Starke175443
Jay167623
Owen165737
Fulton164030
Orange159534
Carroll158015
Rush155118
Perry154229
Vermillion149134
Franklin148333
Tipton132332
Parke13078
Pike116926
Blackford111022
Pulaski97037
Newton90921
Brown88035
Benton86610
Crawford7999
Martin73713
Warren6817
Switzerland6615
Union6287
Ohio4907
Unassigned0376

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 859841

Reported Deaths: 10680
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin101171707
Cuyahoga855711125
Hamilton64017448
Montgomery43107418
Summit34836761
Lucas31350625
Butler30973232
Stark25786435
Warren19671140
Lorain19017223
Mahoning17321338
Lake16080154
Clermont15926111
Delaware1438878
Licking13204137
Trumbull12809316
Fairfield1279381
Greene12055137
Medina11591168
Clark10942265
Wood10348158
Allen9897126
Portage9296109
Miami916873
Richland9139118
Marion7459113
Tuscarawas7381182
Columbiana7327124
Pickaway726150
Wayne7034171
Muskingum703141
Erie6152129
Hancock552390
Ross548998
Scioto539164
Geauga508455
Darke470292
Ashtabula453073
Lawrence452654
Union451828
Sandusky436662
Mercer433589
Seneca430166
Huron428741
Auglaize422264
Shelby421222
Jefferson419269
Belmont416840
Washington388740
Athens38009
Putnam374975
Madison355129
Knox352622
Ashland344938
Fulton338443
Defiance330086
Crawford322374
Preble320637
Brown312921
Logan307332
Ottawa293943
Clinton290143
Williams278667
Highland275118
Jackson263845
Guernsey254125
Champaign252028
Fayette236530
Morrow23234
Perry231318
Holmes225474
Henry218749
Hardin213033
Coshocton205622
Van Wert202245
Gallia196726
Wyandot196051
Pike176217
Adams176115
Hocking172024
Carroll155616
Paulding144321
Noble120540
Meigs108624
Monroe100732
Harrison89121
Morgan83130
Vinton70213
Unassigned00
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