Recently, the lows to which the Trump administration has brought American national politics proved surprising yet again with the revelation of serious domestic violence allegations against White House staff secretary Rob Porter. Porter resigned in the face of photos of the injuries one of his ex-wives says she suffered at his hands, although not just one, but two ex-wives of his came forward with serious allegations of abuse.
The president, who isn’t exactly known for staying quiet about issues that are important to him, has remained silent on one important issue connected to this scandal — ensuring that domestic violence is not tolerated in the United States, no matter what. He hasn’t tweeted any rousing condemnation of domestic violence along the lines of, say, the tweets he’s posted condemning athletes for taking a knee during the anthem, instead sticking to incendiary generalized statements about the need for “due process.”
Considering these facts, it’s unsurprising that journalists sought to confront White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders about the president’s shying away from confronting domestic violence at the Monday edition of the White House press conference. Trump sent the tweet featured above on Saturday, so this would have been the first real opportunity to press Sanders about the issue.
After Sanders read off a statement asserting that the president takes domestic violence “very seriously,” ABC’s reporter Cecilia Vega asked Sanders about why those comments were coming through her and not straight from him.
Sanders replied to Vega by saying:
‘I spoke with the president and those are actually his words that he gave me directly today… It’s my job to speak on behalf of the president. I spoke to him and he relayed that message directly to me and I’m relaying it directly to you.’
When asked whether the president believes Porter’s accusers, Sanders commented that the administration believes that “all allegations need to be thoroughly investigated,” adding that “above all, the president supports the victims of domestic violence and believes everyone should be treated fairly and with due process.”
That statement, of course, as Vega noted, didn’t answer the question and instead laid out a shaky at best ground from which to approach issues of domestic violence.
The president, of course, has a personal interest in discrediting victims of various forms of misconduct, since he’s been accused by numerous women of perpetrating abuse, with him having long dismissed the allegations as “fake news.”
In the case of Porter, the president reiterated time and time again during in-person comments to reporters that the now former White House staff secretary had claimed to be innocent, thus establishing that no matter whether or not Sanders wants to admit it, the president is on Porter’s side here and not that of his ex-wives.
Sanders faced continued questioning from other reporters along the same lines as the questioning posed by Vega, and she responded by insisting that the president wasn’t taking any side at all in the Porter scandal and instead simply calling for due process, something she said she was sure all those in the room would be in favor of if they themselves were accused of something.
Her language calls the president’s refusal to single out white supremacists for special condemnation to mind, with him instead insisting “both sides” were to blame for a weekend of violence in Virginia.
Pressed further, Sanders seemed unwilling to acknowledge the fact that there’s a difference between her saying something on behalf of the president and the president choosing to say something himself.
‘I’m not sure how I can be any more clear. I think the president has espoused his views on this and I certainly have echoed them for everyone… He literally dictated that statement to me, and so I’m not sure how that’s not the president speaking.’
Check out the amazing level of ignorance for yourself in the video below.
Featured Image via Screenshot from the Video