President Donald Trump has had a tough week so far, so much so White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders is apparently at a loss of words.
Amidst the bombshell developments of former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort’s conviction and former attorney Michael Cohen’s guilty plea, Sanders has resorted to the oldest trick in the book: dodge questions you don’t like.
When asked of the jury convicting Manafort on eight counts of tax fraud and money laundering and Cohen’s guilty plea of campaign finance violations, were he claimed Trump directed him to pay hush money to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, the press secretary decided to stay mum.
Despite the highly contradicting past statements made by Trump and the White House on the same matters, Sanders provided little information, sticking to one argument without much proof: Trump wasn’t guilty.
“The president has done nothing wrong, and there are no charges against him,” she said at least six times during the briefing.
When asked of the payment made to Daniels, the president said he knew of the payments later on, however, an audio tape released by Cohen, showed the two discussing one such payment, to McDougal, before it was made, Sanders referred the question to the president’s outside counsel.
When notified, she is the taxpayer-funded spokesperson for the president, not the “outside counsel,” she still refused to elaborate on the contradiction.
Sanders, however, did claim that “just because Michael Cohen made a plea deal doesn’t mean that that implicates the president on anything.”
But Trump’s statements on the matter of paying hush money have changed drastically.
Cohen’s supposed “flip” after he released the surreptitiously recorded tape of his former client then indicated the POTUS knew of the payments before they were made.
And now, Cohen, under oath, said Trump directed him to make the payments.
Trump had now taken a new direction, claiming even if campaign finance laws were violated with the payment, it was not a crime.
Michael Cohen plead guilty to two counts of campaign finance violations that are not a crime. President Obama had a big campaign finance violation and it was easily settled!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 22, 2018
Sanders, when asked if Trump lied about the payments despite knowing of them, called the assertion a “ridiculous accusation.”
The press secretary has previously said it hurts her when she is portrayed as a liar, although her recent press briefing, and many others before that, do not really help her case.
Thumbnail/ Banner Credits: REUTERS/Leah Millis