Professional liar and defender of lies Sarah Huckabee Sanders does not have an easy job. Although she’s clearly detestable, it’s hard not to have a sort of grudging respect for the performance she manages to put on each day. When your boss is an incompetent liar who doesn’t seem to realize there’s such thing as video, it can’t be easy to go out and defend such obviously false statements. The job seemed to destroy Sean “hiding in the bushes” Spicer, but Sanders has done a much better job of saying the craziest things with a straight face.
Today, she was confronted about the payment made by Trump lawyer Michael Cohen to pornstar Stormy Daniels made in October of 2016, which was intended to be hush money to keep her from talking about an illicit affair just before the election. Trump, who has never made a statement directly about the payment, denies that an affair took place, despite the fact that Cohen has confirmed making the payment. Apparently, Trump didn’t know about it, and his lawyer just gives pornstars $130,000 for no reason.
Sanders was asked, “In regards to the Stormy Daniels payment— but specifically, can I ask, did the president approve of the payment that was made in October of 2016 by his longtime lawyer and advisor Michael Cohen?”
Here’s the rest of the exchange:
SANDERS: Look, the president has addressed these directly, and made very well clear that none of these allegations are true. This case has already been won in arbitration, and anything beyond that I would refer you to the president’s outside counsel.
PRESS: When did the president address, specifically, the cash payment that was made in October of 2016?
SANDERS: The president has denied the allegations against him, and again this case has already been won in arbitration. Anything beyond that I would refer you to outside counsel.
PRESS: But did he know about the payment at the time though?
SANDERS: Not that I’m aware of, and again, anything beyond what I’ve already given you, I would refer you to the president’s outside counsel.
You can watch the video below:
It’s not clear what she’s talking about regarding arbitration. Arbitration typically means coming to an agreement outside of court using a third party arbitrator, but that’s usually part of a contract (not going to court). Stormy’s lawsuit alleges that the contract is not valid to begin with, and also that Trump even very recently has been trying to “silence” her and “force” her into arbitration. So the Trump administration’s statement that they’ve “won” in arbitration, specifically, almost seems as if they’re claiming victory outside of court for something Stormy didn’t show up for. Of course, that’s purely conjecture—yet it’s bizarre that the White House is acting like this is over when it is clearly not.
‘Trump’s longtime lawyer Michael Cohen, who has said there was no affair and admitted he paid the porn actress $130,000 out of his own pocket, did not respond to requests for comment.
‘Stephanie Clifford alleges in her suit that as recently as last week, Trump’s attorney tried to initiate an arbitration proceeding against her.
‘“To be clear, the attempts to intimidate Ms. Clifford into silence and ‘shut her up’ in order to ‘protect Mr. Trump’ continue unabated,” the lawsuit said.
‘Asked when Trump has personally addressed the $130,000 payment made to Daniels by Cohen, Sanders said she wasn’t aware that Trump knew about the payment and said Trump has “denied the allegations against him.”
‘Daniels’ attorney, Michael Avenatti, mocked the White House’s response to the suit, derisively saying that Trump “also won the popular vote.”’
Featured image via Win McNamee/Getty Images