Sarah Sanders was asked if the President’s demand for ESPN to apologise for one of its anchors calling him a “white supremacist” meant he would also make amends for the many “untruths” he has himself said over the years.
The reporter used the infamous example of Trump claiming Barack Obama was not born in the USA and therefore should not be President, something he did on numerous occasions over a period of three years.
The so-called “Birther” movement is totally false and is one of the most widely debunked conspiracy theories out there.
Trump has never apologised for his claims but begrudgingly said “Obama was born in the United States” during the election campaign last year.
The reporter said at today’s press briefing: “Donald Trump today tweeted out that ESPN should apologise for ‘untruths’ - but by him saying that does that mean he’s willing to apologise for Birtherism claims that he called for years?
Sanders began: “I think the President has made plenty of comments on that front...”
“He hasn’t apologised though,” the reporter interrupted.
Without a hint of irony, Sanders countered: “I think the point is that ESPN has been hypocritical, they should hold anchors to a fair and consistent standard. ESPN suspended a long-time anchor, Linda Cohn, not too long ago for expressing a political viewpoint.”
The reporter said: “Couldn’t you say the same thing about [Trump] not apologising for Birtherism which is not true?”
At this point Sanders looked visibly uncomfortable and spoke over the reporter, saying: “Guys I’m sorry, I’m going to keep moving so I can cover as much as possible.”
The ESPN incident, in which Jemele Hill said Trump “is a white supremacist who has largely surrounded himself with other white supremacists”, prompted the hashtag #NaziBucketChallenge today in which twitter users declared their support for the sentiment.