Turns out White House press secretary Sarah Sanders doesn’t need to be behind the podium to let a room know she’s in charge.
Sanders was recently at the uncomfortable receiving end of a negative lecture at a private event in February, according to a Politico article published Friday.
Bill Clinton’s former press secretary was “letting her have it” on a panel discussing the press secretory job at the event sponsored by the White House Correspondents’ Association.
“You have got to have an administration that’s committed to respect the role of the free press,” Mike McCurry said. “You cannot have a president who declares them to be the enemy and goes out and describes them as fake news every day.”
“I’m used to not always being the most popular person in the room,” Sanders responded, trying not to engage in political trash talk.
“You cannot do this job in an environment in which you are belligerent and saying you’re at war with these people every day,” McCurry went on.
“I don’t think I’ve ever said anything similar to that,” Sanders countered.
Eventually, McCurry’s monologue got old and Sanders let him have it.
“We have not declared war on the press,” she said simply, even letting out a “chuckle” according to Politico.
The article attempted to make the point that “the Sarah Huckabee Sanders show is unlike anything Washington has ever seen,” adding that “Amid a constant drumbeat of surprise and scandal, she is there to beat back the press and squelch its enthusiasm.”
But Politico did acknowledge:
The public hasn’t always been kind to Sanders, who gets caricatured as a sour, irritable figure in cartoons and has become a lightning rod for public frustration with the Trump administration’s vexed relationship with facts. But those who have known her for years see a different person: They swear by her as loyal, professional, charming and witty. She manages to keep up with former colleagues spanning years and, in a rare instance of Washington collegiality, remains close with the person whose job she took, Spicer. Some reporters even cop behind the scenes to liking her.
Earlier this year, McCurry admitted that when it comes to speaking to the press, Sanders’ boss is better at it than his was.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) February 22, 2018
Sanders has become a valuable asset to President Trump as she deftly slaps back at his critics, silencing attention-grabbers and reporters looking to spin their narrative in daily White House briefings.
Her predecessor, Sean Spicer, couldn’t handle the heat but Sanders continues to prove that she is a fierce defender of the president – and that is not just when she is behind the White House podium.