TOWOIT #347: “Red lights are blinking”

July 18, 2018. 

Today Sarah Sanders held the first White House Daily Briefing since July 2. It was 26 minutes long. On the White House Live stream, there were more viewers watching live than there have been for any briefing all year. It’s the top line in dashed light blue. The X-axis starts at the actual start time and continues out until the end of the briefing. Anyway, it was a shit show.


Continue reading TOWOIT #347: “Red lights are blinking”

TOWOIT #346: Hello Proxy State

July 16, 2018.

  • (Alex Amashkov, Interfax Information Agency) Good afternoon, my name is Alex Amashkov, Interfax Information Agency. I have a question to President Trump. During your recent European tour, you mentioned that implementation of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline makes Europe a hostage of Russia, and you suggested that you could free Europe from this by supplying American LNG. But this cold winter actually showed that the current model — current mechanism — of supply of fuel to Europe is quite viable. At the same time, as far as I know, U.S. had to buy even Russian gas for Boston. I have a question: The implementation of your idea has a political tinge to it or is it a practical one? Because there will be a gap formed in the supply-and-demand mechanism and the first is the consuming countries who will fall into this gap.
  • And the second question, before the meeting with President Putin, you called him an adversary, a rival, and yet you expressed hope that you will be able to bring this relationship to a new level. Did you manage to do this?

  • (Jeff Mason, Reuters) Mr. President, you tweeted this morning that it’s U.S. foolishness, stupidity and the Mueller probe that is responsible for the decline in U.S. relations with Russia. Do you hold Russia at all accountable for anything in particular? And if so, what would you — what would you consider them — that they are responsible for?
  • For President Putin, if I could follow up as well, why should Americans and why should President Trump believe your statement that Russia did not intervene in the 2016 election, given the evidence that U.S. intelligence agencies have provided? And will you consider extraditing the 12 Russian officials that were indicted last week by a U.S. grand jury?

  • (Ilya Petrenko, Russia Today) Mr. President, would you please go into the details of possibly any specific arrangements for the U.S. to work together with Russia in Syria, if any of these kind of arrangements were made today or discussed?
  • And my question to President Putin in Russian. Since we — we brought up the issue of football several times, I ask — use the football language. Mr. Pompeo mentioned that when we talk about the Syrian cooperation, the ball is in the Syrian court. Mr. Putin — in the Russian court — is it true? And how would you use this fact, the — the — having the ball?

  • Excuse me, but for now, no specific agreements, for instance, between the militaries…
  • (Jonathan Lemire, AP) Thank you. A question for each president; President Trump, you first. Just now, President Putin denied having anything to do with the election interference in 2016. Every U.S. intelligence agency has concluded that Russia did. What — who — my first question for you, sir, is who do you believe? My second question is would you now, with the whole world watching, tell President Putin, would you denounce what happened in 2016 and would you warn him to never do it again?
  • A question for President — for President Putin. Thank you. Two questions for you, sir. Can you tell me what President Trump may have indicated to you about officially recognizing Crimea as part of Russia? And then secondly, sir, do you, does the Russian government have any compromising material on President Trump or his family?

TOWOIT #345: A lot of friendly laughing today

Press briefing from Monday, July 2, 2018.

Sarah Sanders has these down to 20 minutes a week now. I’ve had a harder time forcing myself to re-listen on C-Span in the evening now that it’s a less regular thing. I’m just so sick of this administration. Nice pitch for my blog! No but seriously, I’m so tired of the friendly chuckling in the room with Sanders.

But here we go, belatedly. Sarah Sanders usually kicks off the briefing by calling on John Roberts from Fox News. Today there was someone new in the front row, John’s wife Kyra Phillips. Kyra left CNN this spring after 13 years to take a role at ABC News as a D.C.-based correspondent. At this briefing, Sarah called on Kyra first.

Read on to see the questions that Kyra and other reporters asked Sarah Sanders: Continue reading TOWOIT #345: A lot of friendly laughing today