Today's White House press briefing featured a storm of questions about former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and the kneeling protests that have spread throughout the NFL, interspersed with inquiries about North Korea and Jared Kushner's private email server. Here are some of White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders' most depraved responses from today's briefing.
When asked if President Trump had gone too far by calling NFL players "sons of bitches" who should be fired, Huckabee Sanders' response was:
"I think it's always appropriate for the president of the United States to defend our flag, to defend the national anthem and to defend the men and women who fought and died to defend it."
Huckabee Sanders mentioned several times that the NFL protests and Trump's responses to them have nothing to do with race. It was brought to her attention that Colin Kaepernick's purpose was to protest racial inequality and police brutality, but it has instead been interpreted as disrespectful to our troops and our flag. However, white supremacist protestors claimed their protests were about heritage and not hate, which Trump was more inclined to accept. When questioned about this disparity, Huckabee Sanders' response was:
"I think if the debate for them is really about police brutality, then they should protest the officers on the field that are protecting them instead of the American flag."
She later said that wasn't what she meant, and that she was "kind of pointing out the hypocrisy in that, if the message is police brutality, which they've stated, then that doesn't seem very appropriate to protest the American flag. I'm not sure how those two things would be combined."
When asked if Jared Kushner's emails from his private server would be released, Huckabee Sanders said that she did not have information regarding that issue.
When asked about why Trump made the speech that he made at the United Nations after being warned not to provoke North Korea, Huckabee Sanders' response was:
"That's a false narrative. The national security team was involved and engaged throughout the speech-writing process and was very happy with the president's speech at the UN."
When asked about Tom Price's travel in a private aircraft, spending $400,000 in taxpayer money since May, Huckabee Sanders' response was:
"This wasn't White House–approved travel. This was done through the general budget at the Department of HHS and I think Secretary Price addressed this over the weekend; they're conducting both an internal and IG review and all travel on private charter has been suspended until that's completed."
When asked about Secretary Carson's disagreement with the president and vice president regarding the runoff Senate election in Alabama — Carson has endorsed Christian Supremacist Roy Moore, while Trump endorsed his opponent Luther Strange — Huckabee Sanders' response was:
"The president has a lot of people with a variety of backgrounds and certainly with a variety of opinions. He always welcomes them voicing those."
Trump has, however, made it clear that he does not welcome NFL players voicing their opinions. When asked if President Trump has an issue with the First Amendment, Huckabee Sanders' response was:
"Not at all. The president is simply stating that pride in our country is a good thing. It's something we should all celebrate; it's something that frankly should bring us together, not divide us. Standing up for the national anthem he feels is a symbol of that."
When asked if the president was waging a culture war, Huckabee Sanders' response was:
"Not at all. The president's not talking about race; the president's talking about pride in our country."