Sarah Huckabee Sanders isn’t the least bit surprised by the media’s wailing about President Donald Trump’s press briefings.
The president’s former press secretary jumped back into the spotlight on Wednesday to tell Fox News’ Harris Faulkner that the press will simply “never be happy” with Trump, Fox News reported. The president’s daily coronavirus pressers have gotten more combative in recent days as the many in the media have blasted Trump for pushing “propaganda” from the podium.
Known for her combative approach with the media, Sanders was widely disparaged during her tenure for Trump as a propagandist with little regard for the truth. By the time she stepped down in the summer of 2019, a common complaint among reporters was how scarce the White House’s press briefings had gotten.
With the coming of the coronavirus crisis, there’s been a change: the president has never been more available to the press, with updates every day at the White House. In recent days, these briefings have grown more intense: at a particularly heated conference on Monday, Trump taunted reporters with a campaign-style video hailing his handling of the virus.
That briefing inspired some hysterical reactions from the likes of CNN, which labeled it “propaganda” in its chyrons, according to RealClearPolitics. Asked by Faulkner what could be done to take the temperature down, Sanders suggested that a solution isn’t likely since the media has a grudge with the president.
“I don’t think that you will ever make this group of people happy,” she said, according to Fox. She also called the media hypocritical for continuing to complain about transparency, even as Trump is holding more press briefings than ever.
“I think it is great for the American people to have direct access from the person that is making the decisions as well as the people that are informing those decisions,” she said, according to Fox. “The president isn’t just going up there on his own. He’s bringing in the experts that he is getting information from and allowing reporters to come in and ask questions of those people as well.”
When Faulkner said that the fighting at Trump’s recent briefings isn’t helpful, though, Sanders agreed.
Trump v. the media
Those in the media have charged that the briefings have little information value, arguing that Trump has turned them into small-scale Trump rallies, since he is no longer able to hold his signature campaign events because of the virus. Some news networks have started cutting away altogether to block the “disinformation,” as The Hill notes.
Others say that Trump is thin-skinned and takes advantage of the briefings to blame scapegoats, but to Trump and many of his supporters, the pushback against the media is deserved, not to mention funny. At Tuesday’s briefing from the Rose Garden, Trump jokingly referred to himself as a “king” and dismissed a journalist who wanted to ask a question for a colleague.
“Who cares? If you can’t be here, that’s too bad, you know. Right?” Trump snarked, according to a White House transcript.
The president has certainly brought a spirit of campaign-style levity to recent briefings, but maybe the media just can’t take what they dish out?
“I would love to be able to say that we have a very honest press…and I don’t mind being criticized, but not when they’re wrong,” Trump said Monday, according to the New York Post. “Not when people have done such a great job.”