White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders appeared on Fox & Friends, where she faced a tough grilling over the ramped up infighting in the administration that has led to a series of damaging leaks — as well as the refusal to publicly apologize for a recent controversy.
The latest turmoil comes in the wake of comments made by Trump aide Kelly Sadler about Sen. John McCain, who she dismissed as “dying” in a private meeting. Those comments were leaked, and a follow up meeting in which Sanders berated her staff for leaking was leaked as well.
Fox & Friends host Steve Doocy put it bluntly: “What is going on at the White House because it looks like the president can’t even trust his own staff?”
“There are a couple of bad actors,” Sanders conceded, before going on a tear against leakers that came off as an ominous warning:
I think it is disgusting and some of the most shameful behavior that you could ever engage in. It’s an honor and privilege to work for the president and to be part of his administration. Anybody who betrays that, I think is a total and complete coward and they should be fired. We fired people over leaking before. I have personally fired people over leaking before. And we certainly would be very willing to do so again.
“Sarah, why do they do it?” Doocy pressed. “Are they just trying to stab other staff members in the back? Are they trying to advance their political agenda? Are they trying to set the record straight? What the heck is going on?!”
“I think there are probably a number of reasons,” Sanders, a little flustered, replied. “I think some of these leaks are made up and reporters search for validation for them.”
Sanders continued that the White House is taking the issue of leaking “extremely seriously,” adding that such behavior is “disgusting” and “disloyal.”
She also chastized the media, arguing “it’s a complete disservice to the American people that they spend so much time on a comment made in a private meeting, versus the comments that are made on a public stage that are literally changing the course of human history, that this president is engaged in.”
Abby Huntsman, guest hosting Fox & Friends, jumped in to ask why Sadler had promised a public apology to Meghan McCain over her comments, which has yet to come.
“A lot of people are waiting for that to happen,” Huntsman noted. “Should we now expect that not to happen?”
“I’m not going to get into the back and forth on this,” Sanders said, reprising her press briefing demeanor. “I think it’s been addressed. We are dealing with this matter internally. Again, I think we should be focused –”
“Why the strategy to not come out publicly and say ‘you know what? I shouldn’t have made the joke, it was wrong. Let’s all move on.’ Why not do that?” Huntsman interjected.
Sanders dodged, noting that Sadler had personally apologized and that a public apology would “validate leaks.”
Watch above, via Fox News.
[image via screengrab]
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