In fairness to Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and Sean Spicer before her, it can’t be easy to go out there and competently sell Donald Trump’s lies on a daily basis. Most of Trump’s lies are rather transparent to begin with, and they fall apart the minute the followup questions are asked. In the case of Huckabee Sanders, she screwed up badly yesterday by apparently telling the truth for once, making one of Trump’s ugliest scandals even worse, and causing him to become angry at her for it.
Trump’s official party line thus far about his affair with Stormy Daniels is that it didn’t happen, and the subsequent payoff didn’t happen, and the nondisclosure agreement didn’t happen, and the whole thing doesn’t exist. No one believes a word of that, of course, but it’s what Trump’s handlers are expected to try to sell to the public. When Sarah Huckabee Sanders ran out of ways to deflect questions about the scandal yesterday, she tried to defend Trump by announcing that he and his attorney Michael Cohen had won an arbitration ruling against Daniels last week. Oops.
The trouble with admitting this is that it was an admission that the nondisclosure agreement and payoff happened, and that legal action is ongoing. Everyone outside the White House knows that already. But in Trump’s deluded mind, he seems to think that if he has his people repeatedly claim none of it happened, then the public will somehow believe it. So now CNN’s Jim Acosta is reporting via Twitter that “Trump is upset with Press Secretary Sarah Sanders over her handling of Stormy Daniels questions yesterday” and that he’s “very unhappy” with how it’s all playing out.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders is an unscrupulous liar who routinely and dishonestly attacks everyone who dares to call out Donald Trump’s own unscrupulous behavior. She deserves no sympathy for having allowed herself to get caught up in Trump’s sinking ship. But it’s noteworthy that Trump has now decided she’s the problem, just days after having run off Gary Cohn and Hope Hicks because they were supposedly the problem. Trump is incapable of understanding that he’s the problem, and it’s why he’s gone through an endless parade of hapless hired and fired advisers.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report