White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Monday thought she could answer one question about Rob Porter’s alleged history of domestic violence at the top of her press briefing and then move on. She was sorely mistaken.
For close to twenty minutes, Sanders struggled to respond to questions from reporters who couldn’t square her blanket condemnations of abuse with several statements from President Trump last week painting Porter as both “innocent” and “falsely accused.”
“Above all, the president supports victims of domestic violence and believes everyone should be treated fairly and with due process,” Sanders said in response to a question from Fox News’ John Roberts. “We’ve addressed this situation extensively and we have nothing more to add at this time on the topic.”
It turned out she had a lot more to add as the White House correspondents from various outlets hammered her with questions about the matter.
Asked why we haven’t heard the president say that he takes domestic violence “very seriously,” as Sanders suggested he did, the press secretary said those were his words, dictated to her before the briefing. “Does he believe Rob Porter’s accusers or are they lying?” Sanders would not answer that question directly, instead repeating that Trump takes domestic violence “very seriously” and believes “all allegations need to be thoroughly investigated.”