TOWOIT #330

May 17, 2018

The White House Daily Briefing was scheduled and canceled on Tuesday and Wednesday. Then on Thursday, May 17 there was one. It started over 20 minutes late. Sarah had the acting VA secretary up to go on about Trump’s $100,000 paycheck gift. Then Sarah read another fucking letter from another child praising Trump. She then took questions for eleven (11) minutes, admonished the press that she didn’t have much time, and left.

  • (John Roberts, Fox News) Sarah, we haven’t had a chance to hear of any kind of an in-depth analysis here. Where are we with the summit with Kim Jong-un? And the statements that we’ve heard over the last few days out of North Korea, do you think that these throw in jeopardy the idea of a summit?  Or is this just North Korea doing what it does in trying to get the best deal possible?
  • So what North Korea is saying now about the joint military exercises after Moon Jae-in said Kim knows that these take place and he understands that they have to take place. I mean, what game is North Korea playing?
  • (Jon Decker, Fox News Radio) Thanks a lot, Sarah. What leverage does the U.S. have as it relates to having this meeting take place on June the 12th? And to that meeting actually taking place, when it takes place — if it takes place — what leverage does the U.S. have over accomplishing the American goal of denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula?
  • But on another issue on —
  • (Steve Herman, Voice of America) If I could just follow up on that. What the North Koreans also announced was they were stopping the dialogue with South Korea. So is it possible that there could be a meeting between the United States and North Korea if that whole dialogue between the North and South is on ice
  • (Blake Burman, Fox Business News) Sarah, does President Trump believe that the FBI had a spy at one point inside his campaign? (3 out of the first 4 questions have gone to Fox, for those keeping track at home)
  • And what is — (No follow-ups, Blake! Not even for Fox!)
  • (Emerald Robinson, One America News) Thank you. Following up on Blake’s question — if it is proven without a shadow of a doubt that there was a spy planted in the Trump campaign, does that change the President’s position on firing Robert Mueller?
  • (John Gizzi, Newsmax) Thank you, Sarah. The Iraqi elections are over and it’s very clear that the two big winners — the two top vote-getters — were the party that was linked to Muqtada al-Sadr, a sworn enemy of the United States and someone aligned with the Iraqi Communist Party. And the second-place finisher was the party aligned with Mr. al-Amiri, a warlord who was once backed by Iran. What’s the U.S.’s attitude on a government in Baghdad having either of those individuals as the key player? (Sarah just says, “good thing you said all those names because I probably wouldn’t be able to” Har-de-har, you effing racist)
  • So you don’t care if either of them is —
  • (Jeff Mason, Reuters) Sarah, what does the United States expect out of negotiations today with China on trade? And what are the President’s intentions on helping or changing the policy towards Chinese company ZTE?
  • And ZTE?
  • (Julie Hirschhorn Davis, New York Times) Thanks, Sarah. Also on trade, the President said yesterday that Mexico does nothing for us, especially for the border. We know there are talks today on NAFTA — today and tomorrow. And I wonder if the administration is going to condition any NAFTA deal on a safe third-country agreement with Mexico, or Mexico stepping up to do more to absorb asylum-seekers and other migrants who are seeking entry to the U.S.
  • (Jeff Zeleny, CNN) Thank you, Sarah. This morning, the President marked the one-year anniversary of the Mueller investigation, saying it’s disgusting, illegal, unwarranted, and a witch hunt. But his own FBI director yesterday said it’s not a witch hunt. Does the President — why does the White House still believe it’s a witch hunt? And why did he cancel his news conference this afternoon, which was originally set for three o’clock with the NATO Secretary?
  • (Jordan Fabian, The Hill) Thanks, Sarah. On immigration, there seems to be — we’re moving closer to action in the House of Representatives and I’m wondering what bill the President would accept anything short of the four pillars that he laid out earlier this month. Something like border security and DACA, it seems to be a proposal that is gaining steam. Is that something that the President could support?
  • (Ayesha Rascoe, NPR) Thank you. Just going back to North Korea, you have said that the President would be willing to meet with North Korea if North Korea is.  So does that put North Korea in the driver’s seat here? Is it North Korea that’s going to decide whether a meeting takes place? And also, the President said yesterday that the White House hadn’t heard anything from North Korea. Has that changed? Have you heard anything since these talks were called off with South Korea?
  • Well, is the White House setting a standard for “We won’t meet with you unless you do X, Y, and Z”?
  • (Shannon Pettypiece, Bloomberg) I know we’ve asked this a few times, but —

SANDERS:  That’s okay. That’s kind of what we do here, ask the same question over and over and over again.

  • Can you say yet when Michael Cohen stopped being the President’s personal lawyer?
  • Yeah, but you still haven’t been able to answer that.
  • (Jill Colvin, Washington Post) Thank you, Sarah. Why didn’t the President disclose the reimbursement to Michael Cohen in last year’s financial disclosure report? And just to follow up on other peoples’ questions on North Korea, has any consideration been given at this point to potentially canceling those joint military exercises with South Korea?
  • (Steven Portnoy, CBS News Radio) I just want to ask you, because so many people around the country have been talking about it in the last 24 hours, what did the President mean when he said some immigrants are not people, they’re “animals”? (Sarah feels no need to make absolutely clear that most immigrants are not the gang MS-13 and that immigrants are NOT animals)
  • (Peter Alexander, NBC News, maybe, couldn’t see which Peter was) Thank you, Sarah. Are the chances of a summit now less likely than they were a week ago before these statements came out from Kim Jong-un?

 

Brian Karem’s voice as she leaves: “Sarah, has the President ever lied to us?”

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