At long last, Sarah Huckabee Sanders will be leaving her post as White House press secretary, and may, god forbid, be running for governor of Arkansas. HuffPost learned Thursday that a few of Sanders former adversaries in the press corps are planning on sending her off with drinks at a fancy Washington, D.C. restaurant.
Yesterday, according to an email obtained by HuffPost, Politico reporter Anita Kumar and DailyMail.com’s Francesca Chambers invited reporters and a few Trump staffers to “farewell drinks” for Sanders on June 24.
It would always be a little weird for reporters to invite a prominent administration official to celebratory drinks, but particularly when it is the press secretary, and particularly when it’s the press secretary for Donald Trump, who absolutely loathes the press.
Sanders has worked to close the administration off from reporters as much as possible. During her two year reign in the briefing room, she has continually cut down the number of press briefings, once going a record 43 days without speaking to the press. She also admitted to special counsel Robert Mueller’s team that she once lied from behind the podium.
White House Correspondents Association president Olivier Knox has pushed Sanders to hold more frequent briefings, but has been rebuffed. Knox told HuffPost the WHCA had “nothing to do” with organizing the drinks, though Kumar is on the association’s board and Chambers is the treasurer.
Kumar, who sent the email, described the drinks to HuffPost as a “casual gathering for reporters who have engaged with Sarah, many of whom have done so for years.” She noted that such events are “quite common, regardless of administration ― as many Huffington Post reporters know and have frequented.” (It’s not clear which events Kumar was referring to, but HuffPost has never thrown a party for an administration official.)
Again, this is weird, and Kumar sounds very defensive here.
As a reminder, Sanders has spent three years defending the worst administration in American history, the people who have made the policies that ripped apart families and tortured children in concentration camps. That doesn’t deserve to be celebrated, especially not by the people who are tasked with reporting on them.
Here’s a good rule: if you’re a reporter hanging out with a fascist, it should be because you’re investigating them, not buying them a $20 cocktail.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this article said Sanders had been press secretary for three years. She has been press secretary for two years.