‘Anger’ to ‘pity’: Morning Joe breaks down ‘seven stages of grief’ for White House spokespeople
MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough said he pities President Donald Trump’s spokespeople, because they have an “impossible job” defending the indefensible.
The “Morning Joe” host welcomed New York Times reporter Glenn Thrush to discuss the increasingly information-free White House press briefings by Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who’s taken over for nominal press secretary Sean Spicer.
“What is it, the seven stages of grief — is that what they call it?” Scarborough said. “I’m going through different stages of looking at White House press secretaries. The first is being incredulous, the second is being insulted, the third is being angry — you get to the seventh and you just feel sorry for them, Glenn. I’m talking about myself. It’s just the impossible job.”
Thrush, a White House correspondent for the Times, asked Scarborough if he remembered “The Unknown Comic” from the 1970s, when he appeared incognito on “The Gong Show.”
“One of the days we’ll walk in and somebody will be wearing a paper bag over their head,” Thrush said. “I think we’re just dealing with — they can’t answer any questions, (Sanders) doesn’t want to answer any questions.”
Thrush said the daily decision to hold the briefings off-camera comes from the president himself, because he doesn’t want to share the spotlight.
“Trump himself is making this decision,” Thrush said. “He doesn’t want people on air defending him because he thinks he’s the one who can best handle them.”
He explained that reporters continue to attend the briefings out of professional responsibility — and in case ” a briefing (might) unexpectedly break out one of these days.”
“I am less alarmed by the video aspect than the fact, as you said, three straight days, she’s not answering any questions,” Thrush said.
Scarborough said the problems began with the very first White House press briefing of the Trump administration, when Spicer aggressively promoted Trump’s claims about the inauguration crowds and was subsequently attacked by the president for how his suit looked on TV.
“It’s an impossible job,” Scarborough said. “It’s an impossible job, whether it’s Sean Spicer or Sarah Huckabee Sanders, it’s just an impossible job.”