Donald Trump’s administration doesn’t have much to say about the Coast Guard lieutenant charged with stockpiling weapons and keeping a hit list of reporters and politicians, although the president has found plenty of time to tweet about Jussie Smollett’s case.
Speaking with reporters on Friday, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders spun wildly to distance Trump’s calling for war on “enemy of the people” journalists from the man charged with planning to carry out violence against those enemies.
“I certainly don’t think the president has done anything but condemn violence,” she said. “Every single time something like this happens, the president is typically one of the first people to condemn the violence, and the media is the first to blame the president.”
It’s odd to acknowledge that this kind of thing happens enough to merit an “every single time” response—it feels like threats of right-wing violence against the president’s favorite political targets happen all too often—and yet insist that Trump has nothing to do with people taking his words literally.
The president, for his part, hasn’t said anything about the case against Coast Guard Lt. Christopher Hassan. According to court documents this week, Hassan was inspired by the politics of the far-right-wing to amass more than a dozen guns and hundreds of rounds of ammunition, along with a list of figures who work at MSNBC and CNN as targets.
Update, 5:35 p.m. ET: Trump finally weighed in with these lukewarm comments.