Reprinted with permission from Shareblue.com
The Trump White House, and Sarah Huckabee Sanders, is in crisis mode after Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani admitted on national television that Trump paid off porn star Stormy Daniels to help his presidential campaign.
As reporters gathered around her to get an explanation for the extraordinary pre-election expenditure, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders went completely mum.
One reporter asked Sanders, “Why did the president say he didn’t know about the payment if he did?” The question was in reference to Trump’s denial on April 5, when he flat-out denied knowing about the payoff while on board Air Force One.
In response, Sanders said, “Mayor Giuliani, as well as the president, have spoken at length about this this morning, and last night. Because of ongoing litigation, I’m not going to comment any further. I don’t have anything else to say.”
ABC’s Jon Karl followed up, asking, “Did you know that the president did not tell the truth when he said that he didn’t know about the payment?”
Sanders returned to her talking points, asserting, “There’s ongoing litigation. I’m not going to be able to comment.”
But she had no such issues earlier in the year. In March, when asked about the payoff, Sanders clearly stated to reporters, “There was no knowledge of any payments.”
The floodgates were opened after Giuliani freely admitted to Trump confidant and Fox News host Sean Hannity that Trump was aware and involved in the payoff process.
Trump “knew the general arrangement” for the deal, which involved his fixer Michael Cohen handing off $130,000 to Stormy Daniels so she would keep quiet about her affair with Trump.
Appearing on Fox and Friends, Giuliani appeared to suggest that the timing of the payoff was meant to coincide with the presidential election. He told the sympathetic hosts, “Imagine if that came out October 15th, 2016, in the middle of the last debate with Hillary Clinton.”
Perhaps Giuliani has now admitted to the payoffs and their timing next to the election because he knows Fox News is a safe space for Republicans.
But the admission has blown a hole in the White House’s earlier denials and put Sarah Sanders on the defensive after her blatant lie has now been disproven.
The Trump White House is now in bunker mode, hoping this moment passes and that they can get through the episode unscathed. That is unlikely.