White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer seemed to have headed out early for the weekend, instead allowing his deputy Sarah Huckabee Sanders to handle the Friday briefing instead. Spicer has had so many gaffes and humiliating moments and worse at the podium that the bar was set rather low, but it turns out his deputy managed to find a way to make things even worse.
Spicer has literally one job function, to communicate effectively, and he consistently fails at it. That’s raised the question of whether Spicer is inept by nature, or if it’s simply impossible for anyone to perform well as Trump’s Press Secretary. Today’s performance by Sarah Huckabee Sanders seemed to give at least some credence to the latter. How badly did it go? Let’s just say that her name was a trending topic on Twitter by the time her briefing had concluded.
At one point Huckabee Sanders tried to make the case, with a straight face, that Donald Trump has been spending so much time at his own resorts in an effort to save the taxpayers money. Of course the opposite is true, as Trump’s frequent vacations have required significant travel among security staff and officials, and have wasted significant taxpayer money so he can play golf every weekend. At another point Huckabee Sanders responded to a reporter by saying “My first piece of advice would never be to use Politico as a source.”
So she managed to hit all of the Trump administration’s usual high notes of telling absurd lies and randomly attacking respected news outlets. That seems to be what Donald Trump wants from his Press Secretary role. But the trouble is, Sean Spicer is ineffective at trying to pull off those antics. And, at least in her big performance today, Sarah Huckabee Sanders was even more ineffective. The job of a Press Secretary is to make White House controversies go away, not to address them in such a clumsy manner that they become even bigger stories. Help fund Palmer Report
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report