In a light-hearted moment during what can often be a contentious time, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders began her last press conference before the Thanksgiving holiday by asking reporters to follow her lead in stating something they were thankful for before asking their questions.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders explains a ground rule for today's White House press conference: Reporters have to say something they're thankful for before asking a question…
— Anthony Zurcher (@awzurcher) November 20, 2017
“This will be our last press briefing before the Thanksgiving holiday in this room so I want to share a few things that I’m thankful for,” said Sanders. “And I think it would be nice for you guys to do so as well before asking your questions.”
Leading by example, Sanders listed her family, faith, and military members before pivoting to the reporters in the room.
“Obviously, you probably know, and it’s not secret, that I’m clearly very thankful for all of you here in the room, and I think that goes without saying,” Sanders said as a few reporters laughed.
“And I’m certainly thankful for the incredible privilege of serving this president and the American people,” she said.
Then it was reporters’ turn.
“If you want to ask a question, I think it’s only fair since I’ve shared what I’m thankful for, that you start off with what you’re thankful for,” said a smiling Sanders.
Sanders started with an “eager” CNN’s April Ryan, who said, “I’m thankful for life, for my children, for 20 years in this job. I’m thankful to be able to talk to you and question you – every single day.”
“I feel the gratefulness there,” Sanders quipped.
Why I love @AprilDRyan; tells condescending Huckabee Sanders she's thankful for 20 years in that seat and the chance to question Sanders "every single day." Adds "I hope you felt the passion of my thankfulness." pic.twitter.com/Wy8nKZ1leH
— Tommy X-TrumpIsARacist-opher (@tommyxtopher) November 20, 2017
TheHill’s Will Sommer thought the exercise was “bizarre…”
Before reporters can ask a question at the WH press briefing, Huckabee Sanders is making them say what they're thankful for. Bizarre.
— Will Sommer (@willsommer) November 20, 2017
But most reporters seemed to be good sports about it. One joked about being thankful his wife accepted his marriage proposal after the fourth try. Another, ABC’s Cecilia Vega, led with the fact that she’s thankful for the “First Amendment.”
To which Sanders responded, “I think we all are.”
Watch the press conference below:
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