White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders dodged questions about President Trump going after African American athletes while praising NASCAR during Monday’s briefing, again pretending that Trump’s actions are about “pride” in our country.
— CNN (@CNN) September 25, 2017
“Why is it that the President is going after, or seeming to go after African American athletes, and then this morning is praising NASCAR which obviously is geared toward a different demographic, and then way they stand and respect and honor the flag. Ah, is he trying to wage something of a culture war?” Jim Acosta of CNN asked.
“The President’s not talking about race. The President is talking about pride in our country. What you saw yesterday were players and fans of all races joining together as Americans to honor our service members,” Sanders said, quickly exiting as reporters tried to clarify her point.
A reporter can be heard saying, “But it IS a cultural reference –”
Earlier in the briefing, Sanders sarcastically suggested that NFL players should protest the police, not the flag while she made the case that Trump calling an American citizen a “son of a bitch” is actually Trump defending the flag.
Sanders’ underlying point is that Donald Trump is the flag. The sneering contempt on her face when replying to questions she doesn’t like is obvious, it’s as if Sanders not only shares the Trump disdain for the idea of a democracy where people can peacefully protest and the press has a duty to ask questions, but in fact has this job precisely because of this shared attitude.
Bob Costas said of Trump’s criticism of NFL protests, “The idea that this doesn’t have something to do with race is preposterous.”
Dale Earnhardt Jr. pointed out the problem with the Trump defenders’ argument by quoting JFK:
All Americans R granted rights 2 peaceful protests
Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable-JFK
— Dale Earnhardt Jr. (@DaleJr) September 25, 2017
Reporters weren’t buying it, and Sanders’ dodge proves their point. Why wouldn’t she answer if it’s not racial. This is the same president who defended neo-Nazis and white supremacists after one of them killed someone.
Sadly, the dodge just proves that the answer is yes, Trump’s attacks are racial. But we didn’t need the dodge, because there is history and the pattern of Trump’s behavior, policy, and people with whom he surrounds himself.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.