Saturday, August 4, 2018

Look, You Stupid Bastard

On Wednesday, the White House Press Briefing began with Press Secretary Sarah Sanders stating, “The President has made it clear that his administration will not tolerate foreign interference in our elections from any nation-state or other dangerous actor.”

“Last year, the President signed an executive order to strengthen and review the cybersecurity of our nation and its critical infrastructure.  Last week, the President chaired a meeting of his National Security Council to address ongoing threats.  He asked the officials standing next to me to brief the American people on the work being done to protect the integrity of our elections.”

“Efforts are underway to provide cybersecurity assistance to state and local authorities, and actions to investigate, prosecute, and hold accountable those who illegally attempt to interfere in our political and electoral process.”

“To address these matters further, I want to welcome Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, FBI Director Christopher Wray, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen, Director of the National Security Agency General Paul Nakasone, and National Security Advisor John Bolton to make some comments and take questions on this topic.”

“As you all know, we’ve addressed what occurred during the 2016 election numerous times and rather extensively.  The purpose of today’s briefing is about what we are doing now and, in the future, to protect the integrity of our elections moving forward, and we ask that you stay on that topic.”

Each of the abovementioned officials gave a opening statement and Sanders opened the floor for questions.  She first called on Fox News’ John Roberts who asked a question of Dan Coats, Director of National Intelligence. Next, Sanders called on Toluse Olorunnipa of Bloomberg News who had a question for FBI Director Christopher Wray.  Then Saagar Enjeti of The Daily Caller was given the opportunity to ask Director Coats a question.  Jeff Zeleny of CNN also had a question for Coats.  Blake Burman of Fox News posed a question to FBI Director Wray.  National Security Advisor John Bolton got a question from Jennifer Jacobs of Bloomberg News.

And so it went.  At no time was CNN’s Jim Acosta anywhere in the mix on critical issues concerning “malign influence operations” that target election infrastructure and voter registration databases.  Instead, he bided his time until this happened:

SARAH GILBERT─NPR:  Ivanka Trump made two statements this morning at odds with positions of her father.  She said the media are not the enemy of the people, and also called family separation at the border a low point.  But what does the President think of the statements?

SANDERS:  Certainly, the President himself has stated that he doesn’t like the idea of family separation.  I don’t think anybody does.  We also don’t like the idea of open borders.  We don’t like the idea of allowing people into our country if we don’t know who they are, where they’re going and why they’re coming.

The President wants to secure our borders, which is why he has asked Congress to fix the law.  We haven’t been unclear about what our position is here.  We want to secure the borders.  We want to change the law.  It’s Congress’s job to do that.  We’d like them, particularly Democrats, to stop playing political games and step up and do their jobs.

GILBERT:  And on the press being an enemy of the people or not being?

SANDERS:  The President is rightfully frustrated.  Ninety percent of the coverage on him is negative, despite the fact that the economy is booming, ISIS is on the run, and American leadership is being reasserted around the world.

Just this week, the media refused to cover his remarks in Florida, highlighting efforts on workforce development.  In fact, the pooler for the press said that there was no news made, despite the fact that the governor of the state joined with dozens of businesses across the state of Florida to announce thousands of new jobs.

That may not be news in Washington, DC, but I can assure you that it’s news in the state of Florida, that people that didn’t have a job before this President took office have better opportunity and the opportunity to have a job moving forward.  That’s actually real news and something that people in the state of Florida and across this country appreciate.  And that was totally ignored.

Not only that—before, a journalist on CNN claimed that the President hadn’t taken questions in over a week, despite the fact that same journalist did a live shot from the two-and-two press conference that the President had with the Prime Minister of Italy just moments after making that accusation.

With this sort of misinformation and lack of interest that’s so pervasive in the media, it’s completely understandable for the President to be frustrated.

Gilbert’s question, obviously prearranged, swung open the door for CNN’s Jim Acosta to grandstand in front of the nation.

ACOSTA:  I just wanted to follow up on Sarah’s question from NPR.  She asked you about Ivanka Trump’s statement that the press is not the enemy of the people.  And she asked you whether or not the press is the enemy of the people.

You read off a laundry list of your concerns about the press and things that you feel like are misreported, but you did not say that the press is not the enemy of the people.  And I think it would be a good thing if you were to say, right here, at this briefing, that the press, the people who are gathered in this room right now, doing their jobs every day, asking questions of officials like the ones you brought forward earlier, are not the enemy of the people.  I think we deserve that.

SANDERS:  If the President has made his position known, I also think it’s ironic —

ACOSTA:  Would you mind telling us, Sarah, if you don’t —

SANDERS:  I’m trying to answer your question.  I politely waited, and I even called on you despite the fact that you interrupted me while calling on your colleague.

ACOSTA:  Well, you attacked our news organization —

SANDERS:  I said it’s ironic —

ACOSTA:   — which is why I interrupted.

SANDERS:  I’m trying —

ACOSTA:  But when you finish, if you would not mind letting me have a follow-up, that would be fine.

SANDERS:  It’s ironic, Jim, that not only you and the media attack the President for his rhetoric when they frequently lower the level of conversation in this country.  Repeatedly — repeatedly — the media resorts to personal attacks without any content other than to incite anger.

The media has attacked me personally on a number of occasions, including your own network; saying I should be harassed as a life sentence; that I should be choked.  ICE officials are not welcome in their place of worship and personal information is shared on the Internet.  When I was hosted by the Correspondents’ Association, of which almost all of you are members, you brought a comedian up to attack my appearance and called me a traitor to my own gender.

ACOSTA:  We didn’t try to do that, Sarah.

SANDERS:  In fact, as far as I know, I’m the first Press Secretary in the history of the United States that’s required Secret Service protection.

SOMEONE YELLS:  Tell that to the five dead people in Annapolis.

SOMEONE ELSE YELLS:  Brian, let her finish.

SANDERS:  The media continues to ratchet up the verbal assault against the President and everyone in this Administration, and certainly we have a role to play, but the media has a role to play for the discourse in this country, as well.

ACOSTA:  And, Sarah, if you don’t mind — hold on, if I may follow up.  If I may follow up —


ACOSTA:  — excuse me.  You did not say, in the course of those remarks that you just made, that the press is not the enemy of the people.  Are we to take it, from what you just said — we all get put through the wringer, we all get put in the meat grinder in this town, and you’re no exception.  And I’m sorry that that happened to you.  I wish that that had not happened.

But for the sake of this room, the people who are in this room, this democracy, this country, all the people around the world are watching what you’re saying, Sarah.  And the White House, for the United States of America, the President of the United States should not refer to us as the enemy of the people.  His own daughter acknowledges that, and all I’m asking you to do, Sarah, is to acknowledge that right now and right here.

SANDERS:  I appreciate your passion; I share it.  I’ve addressed this question.  I’ve addressed my personal feelings.  I’m here to speak on behalf of the President, and he’s made his comments clear.

I found it utterly appalling that some idiot thought reminding the Press Secretary of the tragic shooting of journalists at the Capital Gazette in Annapolis was germane given the fact that the tragedy involved the personal grudge of a madman and nothing whatsoever to do with President Trump.

Acosta stormed out of the room after losing both arms like Monty Python’s Black Knight.

If he doesn't want to hear the truth, he should just stay home and watch CNN.
UPDATE:  Welcome readers of Bad Blue Uncensored News.  We are grateful to Doug Ross for linking to this post.

UPDATE II:  Welcome readers of the GOP Briefing Room.  We are grateful to Pookie for linking to this post.

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