It’s been a few weeks since the White House held a televised press conference. 22 days to be exact.
Press Sec. Sarah Huckabee Sanders finally held one today. She opened by saying: “Good to be back. you guys don’t seem nearly as excited. I thought for sure there would be balloons or something. We’ll save that for next time, I guess.”
She then wished both CBS News chief White House correspondent Major Garrett, as well as her father former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee a “happy birthday,” then took questions from TV and print and online newsers.
Questions included topics like the president’s relationship with the GOP; funding for the Mexican border wall and how Pres. Trump is threatening to shut down the government if they don’t find a way to pay for said wall; Afghanistan policy; the debt ceiling; the president continuing to cite a bogus story about Gen. Pershing killing terrorists in the Philippines by using “bullets dipped in pig’s blood”; Sen. Bob Corker‘s comments about how the president “may not have the stability nor the competence to be successful.” (Huckabee Sanders called those particular comments “ridiculous and outrageous that don’t dignify a response from this podium.”)
Here is a list some questions from TV newsers:
- Fox News chief White House correspondent John Roberts asked about how the court case concerning New Jersey Democratic senator Bob Menendez could influence the president and Mitch McConnell to reconvene and “take another crack” at repealing Obamacare.
- ABC News chief White House correspondent Jonathan Karl: “The president promised over and over again that Mexico would pay for ‘the wall.’ So why is he now threatening a government shutdown if Congress won’t pay for it?”
- CNBC White House correspondent Eamon Javers: “This morning, the president said that the debt ceiling is ‘a mess.’ Is that accurate?”
- CBS News chief White House correspondent Major Garrett: “To follow up on the question from Jonathan (Karl)…is the president now abandoning any efforts to negotiate with Mexico?” Garrett also asked about what Pres. Trump’s use of the words “honorable” and “victory” mean when it comes to the war in Afghanistan.
- ABC News senior White House correspondent Cecilia Vega also asked about “the wall,” saying: “On the threat of this government shutdown if Congress doesn’t secure funding for this wall…how is this not a concession from this White House that Mexico isn’t actually going to pay for it, and American taxpayers will?”
- One America News White House correspondent Trey Yingst asked another wall question, and got a sharp “I’ve already answered this question…” reply from Sanders.