Reprinted with permission from Shareblue.com
Less that 24 hours after the FBI raided the home and office of Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders complained that the extraordinary event was being covered by the press.
The FBI raided seized records related to Cohen’s payments to porn star Stormy Daniels. Daniels recently revealed the details of an extramarital affair with Trump and attempts to cover it up before the 2016 election.
Monday, shortly after news of the raid broke, Trump ranted for several minutes that the raid was an “attack on our country” and said he is considering firing special counsel Robert Mueller.
The highly unusual raid of the personal attorney to the president of the United States, who is reportedly under investigation for bank fraud potentially committed on Trump’s behalf, is certainly newsworthy. So is Trump’s outraged response to it.
But in the daily press briefing, Sanders complained that the press had any questions about it.
NBC reporter Kristin Welker pointed out that Trump himself appointed Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who authorized the raid, and inquired how Trump could then call it a “witch hunt.”
Sanders echoed Trump’s talking point that the special counsel’s investigation, which has already yielded multiple guilty pleas, is a “witch hunt.”
“We’ve spoken about this at length, ad nauseum,” she added, “and frankly think it’s a big distraction that the media has spent every single day for the last year focused on this instead of some of the biggest issues of our day.”
But Sanders’ media bashing — part of her go-to strategy — ignores the fact that there are very real events being covered. The media is not inventing out of whole cloth the series of arrests, indictments, and convictions that have happened in Trump’s inner circle.
On Monday, Trump didn’t even wait to be asked about the FBI’s raid and seizure of his attorney’s records. He launched into his rant on his own and continued to complain on Twitter the following morning.
Certainly Trump’s threat to fire Mueller — essentially admitting he’s considering further obstructing the investigation — is newsworthy too. That threat prompted concern from several lawmakers, specifically Democratic leaders.
The majority of Americans believe the Mueller investigation is fair and want it to continue. Neither Sanders nor Trump are going to make it go away by calling it a “witch hunt” or lashing out at the media for covering it.