In practical terms, the job of the White House Press Secretary is to make the President’s scandals and controversies go away. That’s nearly impossible to do when Donald Trump is the illegitimate President, and pretty much everything he says and does is a scandal. Sean Spicer burned out rather quickly. Sarah Huckabee Sanders has lasted longer. But she blew it for Trump today in spectacular fashion, and arguably at the worst possible time for him.
Her job is to convince the media that Trump’s Russia scandal, and now his obstruction scandal, aren’t that big of deals and perhaps the media should write about something else that day. Trump finally succeeded in nudging FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe into retirement today. This was a clear cut attempt at obstructing justice, as Trump has long been under the (mistaken) impression that McCabe is running the Russia probe, and that McCabe is out to get him.
Huckabee Sanders faced the difficult task today of trying to somehow convince the media that Trump’s ouster of McCabe was somehow not about the Russia investigation, and therefore not obstruction of justice. She could have tried floating anything, really. She could have pointed to real or supposed mistakes that McCabe made on the job years ago. She could have claimed he had body odor. Anything, whether it was legitimate or not, so long as it muddied the waters when it came to the fact that this was about the Russia probe. Instead, she screwed up and did the opposite.
Here’s what Sarah Huckabee Sanders said today about Donald Trump’s ouster of Andrew McCabe: “The only thing the president applied pressure to is to get it resolved, so you guys and everyone else can focus on the things Americans actually care about: making sure everybody gets the Russia fever out of their system once and for all.” She flat out admitted that Trump pushed McCabe out in the hope of making the Russia scandal go away. She confessed that Trump committed felony obstruction of justice. Moreover, she confessed that she’s a part of his conspiracy to obstruct justice. Oops.
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