On Monday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders took the fight to Democratic leaders like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, and House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler.
Speaking to a group of reporters outside of the White House, Sanders said the leaders were being “really childish” and said, “it’s almost embarrassing” that they continue to peddle claims President Trump acted illegally.
“We want to be as cooperative as possible,” the press secretary said regarding the Trump administration’s openness with the special counsel investigation and the subsequent public release of Robert Mueller’s 400-page final report.
“The president did not intervene and allowed and encouraged his team to cooperate and be fully transparent [with investigators]. We’re going to continue to do that but at the same time, you have to look at the outrageous behavior of House Democrats who are asking for things they know they can’t have and they know they have no legal authority to have.”
“Frankly, they’re just acting really childish — it’s almost embarrassing to the House Democrats, the way that they’re behaving,” she said.
Sanders kickstarted the question and answer session by commenting on the deadly shooting at the Chabad of Poway synagogue near San Diego, California.
“I think one of the most important things we can do is use the bully pulpit of the president and call out this hatred by name. Condemn it as the president has done and we’ll continue to do anytime something like this comes up. Hopefully, we don’t see another incident like this. It’s a horrific and heinous moment and it’s something that should never happen in our country.”
“The president along with the entire administration condemned that behavior and racism, and bigotry, and evil, and violence in every form possible.
When asked again about how the Trump administration would work to prevent future hate crimes like the synagogue shooting, Sanders answered: “Again, I think the most important thing that he’s done is to embrace the people in these communities that have been impacted and to condemn this behavior and call it out by name. I think this is something that can’t be missed or ignored about the process.”
The press secretary also took a question concerning Trump’s immigration focus and what policies he was looking to implement to combat the crisis at the southern border.
She revealed that Trump was meeting with Pelosi and Schumer on Tuesday to discuss infrastructure reform, but said she “wouldn’t be surprised” if the issue of immigration was also discussed.
Without naming anyone specifically, Sanders said: “Others are starting to recognize what the president has been saying all along, that we really do have a crisis at the border and it is inhumane for us to ignore it any longer.”
“We have a number of unaccompanied children skyrocketing and the number of people being smuggled across the border, being taken advantage of and being exploited. Now, members of the Democrat Party are hopefully seeing exactly what the president has been talking about and will have a new willingness to help us address it.”
Transitioning to infrastructure, Sanders said, “a place where there should be a lot of cooperation between Republicans and Democrats.”
“I think it is a big step that both sides who have frankly had a lot of hostility towards one and another over the last couple months are sitting down at the table and discussing an issue that has to be addressed.”
Speaking of Democratic leaders and President Trump, Sanders remarked: “They both are showing a willingness to do something about it and I think that’s a good first step. We’ll see what happens.”
Later in the day, Sanders said the Trump administration was working to designate the Muslim Brotherhood a foreign terrorist organization.
Here’s more, from Reuters:
“The president has consulted with his national security team and leaders in the region who share his concern, and this designation is working its way through the internal process,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in an email.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi asked President Donald Trump to make the designation, which Egypt has already done, in a private meeting during a visit to Washington on April 9, a senior U.S. official said, confirming a report in the New York Times on Tuesday.
After the meeting, Trump praised Sisi as a “great president” while a bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers raised concerns about Sisi’s record on human rights, efforts to keep him in office for many years and planned Russian arms purchases.
Some conservative and anti-Muslim activists have argued for years that the Brotherhood, which was founded in Egypt in 1928 and sought to establish a worldwide Islamic caliphate by peaceful means, has been a breeding ground for terrorists.
Designating the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist designation could complicate Washington’s relationship with NATO ally Turkey. The organization has close ties with President Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling AK Party and many of its members fled to Turkey after the group’s activities were banned in Egypt.