….She is a very special person with extraordinary talents, who has done an incredible job! I hope she decides to run for Governor of Arkansas – she would be fantastic. Sarah, thank you for a job well done!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 13, 2019
It is zero coincidence that Sarah Huckabee Sanders quit the White House the same day that Office of Special Counsel head Henry J. Kerner recommended that Kellyanne Conway be fired for her flagrant and repeated violations of the Hatch Act — although Fox News is opining differently. The story over there is that Trump is blaming Sanders for the Stephanopoulos debacle. RawStory:
“The timing of this is odd,” Cavuto said. “Just after the George Stephanopoulos interview with the president, the hypothetical came up about accepting intelligence from a foreign source and the president of course reacted the way he did. He said yeah, I’d be open to it. Maybe he’s pointing the finger, why did you get me into This, sarah sanders?
This is sheer nonsense. Sanders isn’t responsible for what Trump said to Stephanopoulos. And the reason he said what he did about how the FBI director was wrong about getting “dirt” from foreign countries, is because he’s trying to exculpate Donald Jr. That’s the long and the short of it. As long as Senior can say that it’s completely kosher to deal with foreign governments and receive dirt on opponents, campaign finance laws be damned, then Junior looks innocent, and not like the dupe and dope that he is.
This isn’t just my opinion, by the way. Malcolm Nance says the same thing. MSNBC via RawStory:
“…when it’s convenient for the president of the United States to get one of his relatives, in this case, his son, off of the hook, he’s willing to essentially overlook any laws,” Nance said. “And in this case, this is campaign finance law. You cannot accept information from foreign powers, even if they’re allies.”
“It is not just unseemly, it’s against the law,” Nance continued. “But for Donald Trump, things that benefit him are lawful, things that benefit his enemies are criminal, and that’s where we have to draw this bright distinction that he is wrong here and that he is actually soliciting right now from our enemies — he is soliciting future activities, every country in the world is going to try to facilitate this. It will make the 2020 election horrific.”
No, the real story here, as I see it, is that Kellyanne Conway is drawing considerable heat for her flagrant and repeated violations of the Hatch Act. The House Oversight Committee is conducting a hearing on the matter June 26. Conway may go down in flames. Or, if she stays on, she may have to amend her behavior. Which would leave Sanders as the likely heir to be the Hanoi Hannah of the Trump administration — and Sanders is simply not up to it.
For one thing, she lacks Conway’s brains and legal training, for another, it’s been getting to her for some time that people condemn her for her endless lies. New York Times Magazine, May 23, 2018:
“It certainly bothers me,” she said of the “liar” rap. “Because one of the few things you have are your integrity and reputation.” She added that “there’s a difference between misspeaking or not knowing something than maliciously lying.”
No one would argue that a person’s integrity isn’t of paramount importance, I said. But I asked Sanders if there is a danger in linking your integrity to a president who might not always be known for accuracy. There have been many instances where the president has not told the truth, I said.
“But you’re asking about me,” Sanders said, not challenging the premise.
True, I said, but she has to speak for him. I asked the question another way: “Is it possible to be factual if you’re speaking for someone who is trying to make a point that is not factual?”
“Uh, I don’t know,” Sanders said. “I’m not following totally.”
This is classic Sanders-speak. She knew what the reporter was asking, but she cannot be untrue to Trump-God, her idol. That would be heresy. Sanders’ lies are legion and I won’t catalog them here. I think that the smear of Jim Acosta with the doctored video (depicting him karate chopping the arm of a White House intern) and the doubling down afterwards was the worst, personally.
Sanders hasn’t given a press conference in 94 days, unless you want to consider the five minute walk-by that she did two days ago on the White House lawn a press conference. In it, she was asked about the internal polling that showed Trump trailing Biden. She immediately bristled and said, “the polls were wrong in 2016” and the reporter reminded her this was an internal poll, Trump’s own. Then she blew the matter off altogether, “”I’m not worried about polling. The president has an incredible record, he’s had tremendous success and we feel very comfortable about where we are as an administration.”
Then of course there was the obligatory diss of Joe Biden, who was “part of an administration that allowed Russia to interfere in the election.” Point being, while the diss is standard Sanders fare, does it rise to the level of violating the Hatch Act and very probably is the answer. It’s engaging in political activity, while a government employee on the job.
Now, maybe this isn’t right. Maybe she’s not intimidated by the prospect of how to lie and deflect and disrespect Trump’s political adversaries, and not run afoul of the Hatch Act. Maybe it is the Stephanopolous interview that was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I don’t think so. I think Sanders is genuinely worried that if/when Kellyanne Conway goes down in flames, or is sufficiently muzzled, that the job of chief propagandist will fall to her and to her alone, and she’s not up for it.
Or, maybe it bothered her that Alec Baldwin called her a “mouthpiece of fascism” a few days ago. If it’s news to you, Sanders has been so clandestine for so long, almost never doing a press conference, that the Washington Post established a feature column, “Sarah Sanders Watch.” The following is from that. Since March 11, just by the by, Sanders hasn’t done a news conference — but she’s been on Fox TV 15 times. So, essentially, the American taxpayers are paying her six figures to talk on Fox News. But let’s get back to Baldwin.
Alec Baldwin announced that he's “so done” playing @realDonaldTrump on “Saturday Night Live”. Good news for viewers who are “so done” with “SNL” & unfunny vicious Trump bashing instead of comedy. For refreshing variety, try my show instead tonight! https://t.co/MTf4xbnNsG
— Gov. Mike Huckabee (@GovMikeHuckabee) June 8, 2019
Who knows what the future holds?
I tell what it should hold. That you, who have sucked a govt paycheck out of the economy while you were a dreadful Lt gov and then gov and that daughter of yours, a mouthpiece for fascism, that you go away.
Just…go away. https://t.co/ipnR7jeRkW
— HABFoundation (@ABFalecbaldwin) June 10, 2019
And your show is dreadful. You have no charm, insight or intellect. https://t.co/ipnR7jeRkW
— HABFoundation (@ABFalecbaldwin) June 10, 2019
From Baldwin’s lips to God’s ears, at least so far as Sarah Huckabee Sanders is concerned. Another round of fire exchanged in the culture war. It will rage on, but Sanders is deserting the ranks toute suite. Trump’s going to have to find somebody else to burn lies and create a smoky eye.