President Donald Trump’s tepid response to White House press secretary
Sarah Huckabee Sanders being asked to leave a restaurant shows his unhappiness with her, The New York Times reports.
The Times notes that Trump waited about 48 hours before defending Sanders and insulting the restaurant on Twitter.
The Red Hen Restaurant should focus more on cleaning its filthy canopies, doors and windows (badly needs a paint job) rather than refusing to serve a fine person like Sarah Huckabee Sanders. I always had a rule, if a restaurant is dirty on the outside, it is dirty on the inside!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 25, 2018
“The episode — and the president’s uncharacteristically tepid, delayed response — pointed up a double-edged dynamic that seems to plague nearly everyone in Mr. Trump’s inner circle and has recently begun to take its toll on Ms. Sanders,” the Times’ Maggie Haberman and Julie Hirschfeld Davis wrote. “Even as her vigorous defenses of the president’s misstatements and her own obfuscations during White House briefings have eroded her public credibility, her stock with Mr. Trump has begun to sink.”
Despite Sanders’ work on behalf of the White House, Trump was reportedly disappointed that Sanders did not walk out during the White House Correspondents’ Dinner in April after the comedian hosting, Michelle Wolf, called Sanders a liar.
Trump has reportedly begun asking for people’s opinions of Sanders, a sign of his increasing dissatisfaction, and has threatened to “grade” her performances at press briefings, though that may have been a joke.
Former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer, who served in George W. Bush’s administration, said that the attacks on Sanders have boosted her profile, and that despite people’s criticism it is not her job to correct the president, or point out when he make a false statement.
“People see her being attacked in very public ways and ways which seem to go beyond the pale, and it generates sympathy and drives people who may not like her, or Trump, to question whether it’s taking things too far,” Fleischer told the Times.
“People expected her to say, ‘There’s no evidence of what the president said’ — of course she can’t say that,” he added. “It’s more a reflection of the things that her boss says that sometimes are hard to defend, and then the expectation that she is going to stand there and poke holes in it, which is not her job.”
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