With the clock ticking toward a Friday night deadline, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders gaggled with reporters Wednesday morning outside the White House, and seems to have fully invested in an alternative reality. This isn’t spin, it’s propaganda. But as bad as most of her claims were, the most absurd claim was, “Unlike Nancy Pelosi we actually like to read legislation before we agree to it.”
Q: Will the president sign the bill?
Sarah Sanders: “We want to see what the final piece of legislation looks like. It’s hard to say definitively whether or not the president is going to sign it until we know everything that’s in it. Unlike Nancy Pelosi we actually like to read legislation before we agree to it. The president isn’t fully happy, as he said yesterday with everything that’s in the legislation but there are some positive pieces of it… At the end of the day the president is going to build the wall.”
We. Suggesting the President is reading this legislation or even having it read and explained to him in detail.
This is the president who doesn’t even read his intelligence briefings. This is a man who can’t spell simple words on Twitter, and due to the consistency of his challenges with spelling, does not appear to be making typos but rather doesn’t know how to spell basic words.
Trump also showed zero interest in learning about the proposal Monday evening before his rally. It’s clear that other people read the legislation and then explain it with “BAD” “GOOD” soundbites to Trump, who has a notoriously short attention span.
Republicans love to pretend that Nancy Pelosi doesn’t read legislation before she signs it, because they took this quote about Obamacare out of context, “We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it — away from the fog of the controversy.”
Nowhere in that quote did Pelosi say she doesn’t read legislation. Pelosi also doesn’t have a track record of lying every day and refusing to even admit facts, and that should matter.
As Vox pointed out, she was mocked for this for years and apparently Sanders is petty enough to still go at it, but her point was born out. “Once the bill was in place, Pelosi was saying, people would come to value and appreciate its contents. She was mocked for this relentlessly for years. But everything that’s happening this winter shows she was right all along.”
It turns out, Pelosi was right. People want Obamacare, only they want it expanded. They want MORE access to affordable healthcare, not less.
Reporters asked Sanders if Trump builds the wall and ends up in court for it, how is that a win. Sanders replied by falsely claiming that he had the support of Americans all over the country. He does not.
When Trump shut down the government over funding for his wall, which he waited to do until his party no longer held the purse strings as well as led government in both chambers and the White House, polls showed most Americans opposed his strategy of using a partial shutdown to demand money for wall.
Q: How do you respond to people who say this deal is worse than what was on the table before the shutdown?
Sarah Sanders: It’s “just not true” and people saying so are being “disingenuous” and trying to “spin” what’s in the deal.
Um, yes, actually it is true and numbers do not lie.
Let’s walk through it. Congressional sources say Trump gets $1.375 billion for “new border fencing”, but not the $5.7 billion Trump demanded for his wall.
In June, the Senate approved on a bipartisan basis $1.6 billion.
$1.6 is bigger than $1.3.
Also, this money is not actually for his wall. This money is reportedly for new border fencing, barrier functions, including secondary fencing and fence repairs.
Roll Call pointed out, this all means Trump got less for his wall than he would have gotten if he had just ignored conservative pundits.
(H)e has demanded $5.7 billion in barrier funds for weeks — and Vice President Mike Pence offered Senate Democrats around $2.6 billion just before Christmas. Trump was pressured by conservative opinion-shapers to oppose a Senate-passed bill last year that called for $1.6 billion in border wall funding.
That all means the president got a worse deal than he would have secured, had he ignored the conservative radio and television personalities in December.
Then Sanders moved on to pretending that Democrats were responsible for another shutdown if it happens because Trump refuses to sign the bill.
Q: Another shutdown?
Sarah Sanders: “As he said yesterday, that’s not what he wants. If that’s what Democrats choose to do, then that’s going to be on them…. If it happens again it will be because the Democrats completely failed to do their job.”
Q: The president said he was proud of the shutdown?
Sarah Sanders: “I think that the American people have a better understanding of the true crisis, the national security and humanitarian crisis at the border… It’s a matter of national security it’s a matter of protecting people in this country.”
Sanders is right, there is a humanitarian crisis as the border, but a wall won’t fix it. The crisis is the ongoing separation policy that the Trump administration claimed wasn’t a policy but actually was, which resulted in their being unable or unwilling to reunite children with their parents due to either incompetence or not caring to. Additionally, two migrant children have died in the Trump administration’s custody.
There is no crisis that a wall will fix, and indeed border crossings are down without a wall.
Nancy Pelosi has been doing this a long time, and she obviously understands legislation, how to craft and sell it, and how to pass it. That is more than Trump can say by a long shot.
And if one of these two people doesn’t read, it’s obviously not Nancy Pelosi. The pettiness of Trump propaganda machine is revelatory of just how devoid of actual content and vision his message is.
Ms. Jones is the EIC of PoliticusUSA and a Huffington Post contributor.
She has covered President Barack Obama, 2016 Democratic candidate for president Hillary Clinton, VP Joe Biden, Senator Elizabeth Warren, First Lady Michelle Obama, former President Bill Clinton, Gloria Steinem and Senators Cory Booker and Bernie Sanders and interviewed then House Democratic Leader now Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
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 regular appearances on The Ann Walker Show With Scott Nevins for UBN Radio and KPTR 1450’s California Woman 411, The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, The Richard Dawkins Foundation and more.