Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was visibly and vocally annoyed that she has to keep answering questions about Trump being a "moron."
Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders made it quite clear that the White House wants reporters to stop asking questions about Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s reported labeling of Donald Trump as a “moron.”
But she may want to direct her annoyance to her own boss, who can’t restrain himself from talking and tweeting, rather than the press corps for simply doing their job.
After reports came out that Tillerson had privately called Trump an “effing moron,” Trump of course could not let it go, calling it “fake news” but also declaring that he’d be happy to go up against Tillerson in an IQ test battle.
Unsurprisingly, that public challenge to his own Cabinet member’s intelligence brought forth questions from the White House press corps.
NBC White House correspondent Kristen Welker asked Sanders how Trump could “expect his secretary of state to be effective when he’s questioning his intelligence.”
But Sanders, visibly irritated with the subject being brought up, had nothing of substance to say and simply admonished the media to “get a sense of humor” and stop treating the story of a president essentially calling his secretary of state stupid with any seriousness.
WELKER: How does the president expect his secretary of state to be effective when he’s questioning his intelligence?
SANDERS: Again, uh, he wasn’t questioning the secretary of state’s intelligence. He made —
WELKER: Well, he said he has a higher IQ, effectively, than the secretary of state —
SANDERS: He made a joke. Maybe you guys should get a sense of humor and try it sometime. [Someone in press corps: “Oho!”] But, he simply made a joke. He’s been extremely clear, time and time again, despite the fact that you guys want to continue to bring this up and create a story. He’s got 100 percent confidence in the secretary of state. He said it multiple times over the last couple of weeks. And we’re trying to move forward and focus on the agenda, while you guys want to move forward and talk about who likes who, when that’s simply not what we’re doing here.
The questions are not about “who likes who.” They are valid concerns about a seemingly increasing rift between the president of the country and the nation’s top diplomat. It is crucial for the safety and security of the United States and the world that the two people occupying those positions at any time have complete confidence in the other’s abilities, trustworthiness, and readiness to do the important jobs before them.
Calling each other stupid does not convey any such sense of confidence to the public.
Sanders dismissing the subject as a “joke,” as her boss keeps it going, and sneering at reporters to “get a sense of humor,” shows just how little the administration understands that.