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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

A day after former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee sparked controversy with his bizarre remark that Democrats insult women “by making them believe that they are helpless without Uncle Sugar coming in and providing for them a prescription each month for birth control, because they cannot control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of the government,” the failed presidential candidate, now-talk radio host is refusing to back down.

In a grammatically challenged email to supporters that was also posted on his Facebook page, Huckabee pointedly declined to back away from “Uncle Sugar.”

“I am apparently the worst conservative ever or at least the most annoying one according to the left wingers in Washington today,” Huckabee wrote. “My remarks to the RNC today were immediately jumped on and blown sky high by hand-wringing, card carrying liberals from coast to coast, some of them in the media.”

“Guess what liberals? If you can’t stand to look at yourself in the mirror, then get ready for more of this talk, because conservatives are going to continue to fight back against your destructive policies towards women and families,” he continued.

The message then goes on to ask supporters to “do something urgent”:

“Please give an immediate donation to my political action committee Huck PAC in any amount you can afford,” Huckabee writes. He then goes on to ask for money three more times (the final paragraph of the letter reads simply, “Join me tonight with a donation”).

Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus is one conservative who seems unlikely to write a check to Huck PAC. Although he has defended Huckabee’s right-wing views on social issues in the past, once insisting that he could be “a model for a lot of people in our party,” Priebus — who urged Republicans to soften their rhetoric and “be conscious of developing a forward-leaning vision for voting Republican that appeals to women” in his disastrously failed 2012 “autopsy” — declined to endorse Huckabee’s unique take on women’s libidos.

“I don’t know what he was talking about,” Priebus said on Friday. He added that Huckabee’s remarks were “sort of a goofy way of using some phrases,” and that he would have phrased it differently.

Photo: Gage Skidmore via Flickr

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany

White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany was forced to defend President Donald Trump's recent attacks on MSNBC host Joe Scarborough on Tuesday, an unenviable task she nevertheless intentionally signed up for. She desperately tried to divert the attention back to Scarborough — without engaging in the president's conspiracy theorizing — but offered no credible defense of the president's conduct.

Trump has been spreading the debunked theory that Scarborough killed a staffer in 2001 while he was in Congress, even though it was determined she died of natural causes. The staffer's widower wrote a released a letter on Tuesday pleading with Twitter to take down the president's offensive tweets promoting the thoery. He said he was "angry," "frustrated," and "grieved" by the president's promotion of the harmful allegations. Trump is perverting his late wife's memory, he said, and he fears her niece and nephews will encounter these attacks.When asked about the letter, McEnany said she wasn't sure if the president had seen it. But she said their "hearts" are with the woman's family "at this time." It was a deeply ironic comment because the only particularly traumatizing thing about "this time" for the family is the president's attacks, which come nearly two decades after the woman's death.

McEnany refused to offer any explanation of Trump's comments and instead redirected reporters to a clip of Scarborough on Don Imus's radio show in 2003. In that show, Imus made a tasteless joke obliquely referring to the death, and Scarborough laughed at it briefly.

"Why is the president making these unfounded allegations?" asked ABC News' Jonathan Karl. "I mean, this is pretty nuts, isn't it? The president is accusing someone of possible murder. The family is pleading with the president to please stop unfounded conspiracy theories. Why is he doing it?""The president said this morning, this is not an original Trump thought. And it is not," she said, bringing up the Imus clip. But she made no mention of why the president is bringing up the issue 17 years later and with a much larger platform.

When pressed further on the president's conduct, she again diverted blame to Scarborough, saying his morning show unfairly criticizes the president. But again, she offered no substantive defense of Trump.

After McEnany had moved on, PBS reporter Yamiche Alcindor brought it up again: "Why won't the president give this widower peace and stop tweeting about the conspiracy theory involving his wife?"

McEnany said she had already answered the question, which she hadn't, and said the onus is on Scarborough to explain the Imus clip."The widower is talking specifically about the president!" Alcindor shot back. But McEnany called on Chanel Rion, with the aggressively pro-Trump outlet OAN, who changed the subject to conspiracy theories about the origins of the Russia investigation.

"Are you not going to answer that?" Alcindor called out, still trying to get a substantive response to her question, but Rion spoke over her.

At the end of the briefing, another reporter asked whether Trump was looking for any actual law enforcement steps be taken in response to his conspiracy theory. But McEnany had nothing to add, and simply told people to listen to the Imus clip again. As she hurried out of the briefing room, a reporter asked if Trump would stop promoting the theory — but she left without answering.

Watch the exchange about Klausutis, which begins at 48:45.