It’s been 73 days since Sarah Huckabee Sanders last held a “daily” White House press briefing. For the most part, she has chosen to bring the Trump administration’s message to Fox News and Fox News only. But on Thursday morning she stepped out of her comfort zone and was quickly reminded what it feels like to be questioned by a real reporter.
Sanders’ interview with CNN’s Alisyn Camerota on New Day started out all smiles as the two women exchanged pleasantries. But as soon as the host began to dig in on President Trump’s ultimatum to Democrats in Congress that he will not work with them on infrastructure until they stop investigating him, things went south.
“Congress say they can do two things at once, the Democrats is Congress say this isn't a problem,” Camerota said. “So is the president saying that he cannot do infrastructure while he's being investigated?”
“I think it’s a complete lie that Democrats in Congress think they can do two things at once,” Sanders replied. “So far we haven't seen them do anything. Nancy Pelosi has had the majority in the House for months and is yet to accomplish a single thing. They literally haven’t gotten anything done since she took over.”
When Camerota pointed out that since January, the House has passed 248 bills and the Senate has passed 161, Sanders laughed it off as insignificant.
“I just want to say, it's the president who is saying that he can't do infrastructure while he's being investigated,” Camerota reiterated. “He is the one who walked out of the meeting. So just so that we're clear, he's saying that bridges are not going to be fixed until he's no longer investigated, is that what we hear from the White House?”
Instead of answering that question, Sanders stammered a bit as she once again accused Democrats of being “incapable of doing anything other than investigating this president.”
“They spend all of their time attacking him and the fact that they would have a meeting an hour before they are set to arrive at the White House where Nancy Pelosi literally accuses the president of a crime and then wants to walk into his office and sit down as if nothing happened, that's just—that's lunacy,” she continued. “That's not even in the realm of possibility. The president absolutely wants to get infrastructure done, he wants to secure our border, he wants to do things that help our veterans, he wants to improve our education system, he wants to do all of those things but Democrats have been unwilling to work with him.”
Later, after confirming that Trump’s “merit-based” immigration plan will not prioritize DREAMers, Sanders returned to her attacks on Pelosi for suggesting the president may have committed a crime. “That would be like John telling you that he thought you were stealing from the network and then sitting down in the chair next to you and saying, but no big deal, let's just move forward,” she said, referring to Camerota’s co-host John Berman.
“John would never accuse me of something like that,” Camerota said with a smile.
“I would hope not,” Sanders added.