Sarah Huckabee Sanders Lying For Donald Trump Again, This Time Off The Clock!
Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who shamelessly lied for years as White House press secretary, was quick to defend her former boss Donald Trump against charges made in The Atlantic that the commander in chief referred to Americans who died in combat as “losers" and “suckers."
From the New York Times:
In a video she posted online that had 3.4 million views by Tuesday afternoon, Ms. Sanders claimed, "I've also sat in the room when the president had to make the most difficult calls of his presidency: when he had to let a parent know that their son had been killed in the line of duty."
"That's a call no president wants to make," she said. "In those moments, I saw the president's heart. And I also saw his commitment to the men and women of our great military."
This is where Columbo or Monk or just an average person with a passing knowledge of military protocol would point out the small flaw in Sanders's pretty story: Presidents don't inform parents that their child has been killed in the line of duty. This news isn't delivered over the telephone, like they won a sweepstakes giveaway. The family is notified in person.
The malicious lies about @realDonaldTrump from anonymous sources in the Atlantic are disgusting. This story is an… https://t.co/0QTxgxc5kh— Sarah Huckabee Sanders (@Sarah Huckabee Sanders)1599436298.0
After Trump botched the condolence call to the family of Army Sgt. La David T. Johnson, the Chicago Tribune ran a story about how lousy Trump was at the whole “expression of human sympathy" part of his job. This was barely two years ago.
Despite Trump's boast that he reaches out personally to all families of the fallen, interviews with families members did not support his claim. Some never heard from him at all, and a few who did came away more upset.
Fortunately, military families don't have to rely on Trump to inform them of their loss. Otherwise, he'd leave them wondering why their kids stopped writing home. Sanders's lies are so easily disproven she must really think we're dumb. Granted, she's used to crossing swords with a press that still gives her the benefit of the doubt. Note this Times headline:
New York Times
No, the Huckster didn't “mislead" anyone. She lied because she's a liar who lies. “Misleading" is “Read my lips, no new taxes" or “If you like your crappy insurance plan, you can keep it." She just imagined herself in a room with the president as he made phone calls that the president never makes. Those are fables from a fabulist.
Sanders later “clarified" that she meant condolence calls and not notification calls, but that doesn't track with the actual words she used. She repeated the lie Tuesday on "Good Morning America" — she's promoting her book we won't mention — before George Stephanopoulos called her out on live TV.
SANDERS: I spent more time with the president over two and a half years than just about anybody outside of his family and I saw a president who loves this country, who loves the men and women of the armed forces. I sat with him in the Oval Office as he had to make that awful call to let a parent know that their son had been killed in Afghanistan. At no time, other than that time, have I seen the president show his heart more, show his vulnerability more than in that time.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You said you were with the president when he called a family to notify them that their son had been killed in Afghanistan. And I thought it was a military protocol that it was always the military that went in person to see the family. Are you talking about a condolence call?
SANDERS: Yes. Correct. A condolence call after that individual had been notified.
Yeah, that's the ticket.
.@ABC NEWS EXCLUSIVE: Former White House Press Secretary @SarahHuckabee speaks one-on-one with @GStephanopoulos abo… https://t.co/j8sieRs74n— Good Morning America (@Good Morning America)1599567579.0
“Condolence" and “notification" are two separate concepts that a non-liar doesn't casually conflate. You've probably said, “I'm sorry for your loss" to someone whose loved one has recently died. That's very different from literally telling them that their child was killed.
Even if Sanders was telling the truth, which is never a bet you should take, it still wouldn't contradict the Atlantic story because we can assume Trump has the savvy political skills not to disparage dead soldiers while on the phone with their families. Well, we could assume it if he hadn't done exactly that; it was a big scandal and former chief of of staff John Kelly disparaged Florida Congresswoman Frederica Wilson to cover for him.
No one should believe anything Sanders says anyway. She's already admitted to the FBI that she lied to the public about James Comey's firing. She's hardly an unimpeachable character reference for the impeached president.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He's on the board of the Portland Playhouse theater and writes for the immersive theater Cafe Nordo in Seattle. Tickets are on sale now for his latest Nordo collaboration, "Curiouser and Curiouser," an adaptation of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass." It promises to feel like an actual evening with SER (for good or for ill).