President Trump began Thursday by tweeting out two very different takes on a sweeping surveillance law, all but ensuring an eventful day for his press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Sure enough, the afternoon briefing did not disappoint, as Sanders insisted Trump’s tweets — the first insinuating the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act had been used nefariously to “abuse the Trump campaign,” the second imploring the House to extend the bill because “we need it!” — were entirely in concert with one another.
Sanders insisted that Trump has a “full understanding” of the FISA debate, additionally pointing to comments made earlier Thursday by House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) that defended the president’s knowledge of the issue. “It is well-known that he has concerns about the domestic FISA law,” said Ryan, who went on to acknowledge that the domestic law was “not what we’re doing today.” Ryan reportedly called Trump after the president’s first tweet this morning to clarify the White House position.
That wasn’t enough for MSNBC’s Hallie Jackson, who pressed Sanders to explain how exactly Trump’s missives did not contradict each other. “His tweet today was confusing, it was contradictory. It just was,” Jackson said, before asking how people can trust administration officials to relay the president’s positions if he changes them seemingly on a whim.
“I think the premise of your question is completely ridiculous and shows the lack of knowledge that you have on this process,” Sanders retorted, adding that the president’s tweet “wasn’t confusing to me. I’m sorry if it was for you.” Watch Sanders’ full defense to Jackson below.
Sanders personally attacks @HallieJackson after she asks a question about Trump’s confusing FISA tweet.
“I think that the premise of your question is completely ridiculous and shows the lack of knowledge that you have on this process.” pic.twitter.com/kCX2wfXrdI
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) January 11, 2018