Following Tuesday’s disastrous press conference, in which White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders pointedly could not confirm that President Donald Trump had never said the n-word, Sanders was back at the podium on Wednesday for the second day in a row (how blessed are we?) in a blatant attempt to change the subject from Trump’s racism.
Reading a statement from the president, Sanders explained that former CIA chief John Brennan’s post-governmental security clearance had just been revoked, citing his “erratic behavior” and false testimony to Congress. What’s more, she said, the administration was also looking into revoking additional security clearances for other former government employees—all of whom, coincidentally, have been fierce critics of Trump—including former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former FBI Director James Comey, and former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates.
No matter how ham-fisted her attempt to divert attention away from allegations of Trump’s fabled “n-word” tape, which have resurfaced recently thanks to former White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman, the press corps dutifully took the bait, spending the bulk of Wednesday’s briefing pushing Sanders on the announcement.
Reporters in the room wasted no time zeroing in on the fact that those named by Sanders effectively comprised a list of the president’s top critics. This is true, and also besides the point.
The White House once again made a transparent attempt to dictate the next 24 hours of news on their own terms, and once again, the press corps fell for it. Tail, wag, dog, etc.