Once again, the Trump administration passed the buck when called out. And this time, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders threw the military under the bus.
The Trump administration has been ridiculed for releasing commemorative coins for a summit with North Korea that might not even happen. And instead of taking responsibility for the gaffe, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders blamed the military.
“Was it premature to make those?” Karl asked.
Sanders immediately went on the defensive.
“In terms of the coins, this is not something that the White House has anything to do with,” she claimed. “We don’t have any input on the design, the manufacture, the process in any capacity. This is a standard procedure by the White House Communications Agency, which is made up exclusively of career military officials. And these coins are designed and done by that organization.”
Sanders is correct about the WHCA’s makeup, but it does report directly to the White House. And it strains credulity for Sanders to imply that the White House was entirely absent from the process from the get-go.
Trump and his supporters have been polishing his Nobel Peace Prize in advance. But the prospect of a summit dimmed last week when Kim threatened to cancel it over joint military exercises conducted by the U.S. and South Korea.
In fact, at a photo op Tuesday, Trump himself said that the planned June 12 summit “may not work out.”
Releasing commemorative coins so far in advance of a merely tentative trip displayed poor enough judgment. And depicting an oppressive dictator in such a complimentary manner is just the kind of propaganda victory that makes even Trump’s own team worry that he would humiliate himself at the summit.
Putting the embarrassing blame for the whole debacle on the military only makes the White House look even worse.