Reporters at a White House press briefing on Wednesday asked Donald Trump’s top spokeswoman why the president had politicized a terrorist attack in New York City.
Fox News reporter John Roberts asked press secretary Sarah Sanders why Trump was so quick to “go political” in the wake of a terror attack that left 13 people dead.
“In the hours and days after the horrific shooting in Las Vegas, the president repeatedly said now is not the time to talk about policy, now is not the time to talk about politics, that’s for another time. Right now we need to mourn the dead. Yet this morning, the president launched into a political argument with Senator Chuck Schumer on Twitter, literally hours after this incident yesterday. Why was he so quick to go the political route and point fingers at Chuck Schumer?”
But Sanders denied Trump had gone the “political route” by attacking a political foe. She claimed it was something the president had frequently spoken about.
“This isn’t a new position. This wasn’t new for the president to speak about it,” Sanders insisted.
Later in the briefing, NBC’s Kristen Welker asked Sanders why Trump was “delving into a policy and political discussion” after the attack. “He and you were clear after the Las Vegas shooting it wasn’t appropriate to talk about policy. So what is the difference now?”
“I said it wasn’t appropriate to politicize the conversation, which I don’t think we are,” Sanders replied. “We’re talking about protecting American lives and there are things this president has consistently and repeatedly talked about…”
But Welker noted that Trump specifically attacked a Democratic senator. “So how can you argue that this is not a political argument?”
“Senator Schumer has supported these opposing policies… that is a very basic fact,” Sanders said.
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