McCain questions Sarah Sanders over Trump's words on military veterans

Sarah Huckabee Sanders has a book out now and is doing interviews to promote it, as authors do. The former White House press secretary sat down with George Stephanopolous on Good Morning America and with the ladies of The View on Tuesday morning.


Before she did those first interviews, though, she released a video on her personal Twitter account. The topic is the phony story of Trump’s disparaging words against the military and veterans. She describes the story as “malicious lies” and a disgrace to journalism. It’s just 44 seconds long but she delivers a clear message.

Naturally, the trolls were quick to do their thing. For example, a former Republican consultant who didn’t receive a position she interviewed for during the Trump transition in 2016 called Sarah a liar. Oh, how original! The woman who made her livelihood off Republican politics for several decades has been broken by Donald Trump.

Most notably, though, is a nasty reply from Joe Lockhart, Bill Clinton’s White House press secretary. I mean, if any administration knows about lying, it’s a Clinton administration – or insults to public service, amirite?


This morning Sarah told ABC News chief anchor George Stephanopoulos that the anonymous sources for the story and negative comments from others are “disgruntled employees” who have “have tried to push their own agenda.”

Sanders, whose memoir was published Tuesday, told ABC News chief anchor George Stephanopoulos that the cacophony of negative comments from former officials — including former National Security Adviser John Bolton, former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis — contrasted sharply with her own account because hers was “honest.”

“It’s really simple,” Sanders said. “I think mine is actually the honest account. You’re looking at people who have left as disgruntled employees, people who have tried to push their own agenda.”

Stephanopoulos asked why former Trump administration Chief of Staff John Kelly, a retired general, has remained silent. Her response was, “That’s a question you’d have to ask General Kelly.” She went on to say the same is true of negative stories coming from the book written by Michael Cohen, Trump’s former personal attorney.

Sanders said she was present on the day Trump reportedly called fallen service members “losers” and “suckers” and that “those comments didn’t happen.” ABC News has not confirmed The Atlantic’s account.

“Having a difference of opinion is not a bad thing,” Sanders said. “I think that’s one of the reasons the president has been successful. He’s willing to listen to those people.”


Sarah also was interviewed by the ladies of The View Tuesday morning. Meghan McCain led off and Sarah provided a strong yet respectful response to Meghan’s questioning of what Sarah had to say about Trump’s remarks. McCain mentioned she is not a fan of anonymous sources.

After explaining that her “first instinct” was to question the anonymous sources who told The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg that Trump called U.S. troops “losers” and “suckers”—and complained that her family “deserved a heads-up” about the article—McCain said: “The problem as I said before is the president has a pattern of saying incendiary things about people like my father, about people like the Khan family, about people like Col. Vindman.”

“I think if this charge had been leveled anonymously against any other politician, I think people would second-guess it,” she continued. “But because it’s about someone who has this kind of record of insulting veterans, people tend to believe it, which is why I think it has legs. So I just want your perspective on it and I want to know if you understand my and other people’s perspective on it.”

Sarah said she was with the president during his trips around the world and often in the room as he made phone calls to families of fallen soldiers.

As she has done before, Huckabee Sanders insisted that she has never witnessed President Trump be anything but respectful towards the military. “After spending nearly every single day for two-and-a-half years with the president I can tell you I witnessed firsthand the president’s respect and admiration for the men and women of our armed forces.”

In regards to the allegations in The Atlantic article, the ex-flack—who once admitted to investigators that she lied to journalists about FBI agents supposedly cheering James Comey’s firing—added, “I was one of the few in the room. I’m not an anonymous source. I’m going on the record and I’m telling you it didn’t happen. That’s not who this president is and that’s not how he feels about the men and women in our military.”


After Joy Behar asked Sarah specifically if she was standing next to Gen. Kelly at his son’s grave as Trump allegedly said, “I don’t get it. What was in it for them?”, Sarah said she was not. Then Meghan took the interview back for more quizzing over her hurt feelings about Trump’s remarks on her father and others. It led to quite a lecture from Meghan, who is full of herself.

“The problem is, Sarah, you were serving in the White House when President Trump decided to not have the flags raised when my father passed, which had very great outrage,” McCain said. “You also probably know that I have spoken with President Trump on the phone in the past about issues like this. I think he’s aware that there has been serious damage done by the criticism not only by my family, because it’s not just about my family, but like I said, about the Khans and Col. Vindman.”

“The problem with the story is it seems like something he would do,” she continued. “And I don’t doubt that you’ve had experiences and I’ve seen videos with President Trump and troops and his family. But this has not been my experience. For me and my brothers who serve, we do not feel respected. We’re a military family that doesn’t feel respected by this president.”

“I understand you have to do a job because you are his surrogate and you are his supporter,” McCain concluded. “But at least concede that it has to be very uncomfortable to have this kind of conversation with me right now.”


Sarah acknowledged that “There’s no denying the fact that not only did Donald Trump dislike your father, your father disliked the president” but she went on to say that despite their heated discussions, Trump respected McCain. Whoopi Goldberg got the last word as the interview concluded. “And I can say from my experience having watched him over and over and over, I totally disagree with you,” she replied. Whoopi lives in a very liberal bubble so her remark is on point with her normal opinions. None of the women on the show are Trump supporters and I hand it to Sarah for giving them an interview.


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Jazz Shaw 8:01 PM on October 02, 2023