Almost nobody was aware Rudy Giuliani was going to blow up the Stormy Daniels situation Wednesday night, and press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed Thursday that this included her. “The first awareness I had was during the interview last night,” Sanders said of Giuliani’s disclosure that President Donald Trump had reimbursed Michael Cohen.
But what was most notable was how Sanders basically blamed Trump for her own contradictory statements about Daniels.
Back in March, Sanders denied Trump knew about the payment and said it was based upon her own conversation with Trump. “I’ve had conversations with the president about this,” she said. “This case has already been won in arbitration, and there was no knowledge of any payments from the president, and he has denied all these allegations.”
Asked Thursday about these comments and the White House’s general trustworthiness, Sanders didn’t even try to put a good face on it or square her comments with our newly discovered reality. Instead, she essentially suggested Trump has misled her.
So while Sanders has suggested she was dealing with bad information before, she’s now suggesting she was dealing with bad information that was provided by the president.
This is not a situation in which multiple people may have provided competing stories about what had happened. This was a situation in which one person, to whom Sanders clearly spoke, knew what happened, and he clearly didn’t give her the whole truth. Instead, he sent her out to offer an incomplete (and arguably provably false) denial about the Daniels situation.
That’s a recipe for resentment and a loss of credibility. And Sanders didn’t exactly take the blame all for herself.
The Washington Post