White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders shut down a liberal reporter who tried to imply that the White House didn’t necessarily know slavery was wrong after Chief of Staff John Kelly said the Civil War was caused by a “lack of compromise.”
According to the Washington Free Beacon, the exchange came Wednesday with Urban Radio Networks reporter April Ryan (not the brightest bulb in the chandelier), who asked Sanders if the Trump administration thought that “slavery is wrong.”
Sanders called the question “disgusting and absurd.”
It all began when Ryan asked “(w)hat is the definition of compromise as it relates to slavery and the Civil War?”
“I think I’ve addressed the concerns that a lot of people had and the questions that you had. And I’m not going to relitigate history here,” Sanders told Ryan.
“I had a question still lingering when you left. And I’m going to ask the question again,” Ryan said.
“Why don’t you ask it in a way that apparently you are accusing me of being?” Sanders responded.
“I’m not accusing. I’m asking the question, seriously, Sarah … Does this administration believe, does this president believe slavery was wrong?” Ryan continued.
“And before you answer, Mary Frances Berry, historian, said in 1860 there was a compromise. The compromise was to have Southern states keep slavery but the Confederacy fired on Fort Sumter that caused the Civil War,” Ryan continued.
Sanders wasn’t taking the bait, though.
“I think it is disgusting and absurd to suggest that anyone inside of this building would support slavery,” Sanders said dismissing the question.
Wow, so Ryan found a historian who said that the “compromise was to have Southern states keep slavery but the Confederacy fired on Fort Sumter that caused the Civil War.” Well, obviously correct.
Look, no matter how you feel about John Kelly’s comments, they’ve been collapsed down into some in the media pretending to believe that his remarks mean Kelly believes in slavery.
Nobody actually believes Kelly or anyone in the administration actually believes this. Not even April Ryan, except, apparently, when the camera is on her in the White House briefing room.
This is yet another example of reductio ad Trumpsurdum: anything anyone connected with the administration says — particularly if it’s The Donald himself — must be necessarily reduced to its most offensive and grotesque form, because of course that’s what they meant.
Sanders wasn’t having any of it. Let’s hope the American polity gets equally sick of this despicable tactic.
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