Sean Spicer says Sarah Huckabee Sanders has realized 'you can't get in trouble for what you don't say'
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has figured out "you can't get in trouble for what you don't say," her predecessor, Sean Spicer, muses in a new profile of Sanders from The Washington Post. While Sanders says she always does her "best to give the right information" to the press and public, the Post's sources suggest that involves strategic silence:
Sanders' defenders say she spends considerable time crafting talking points that convey the president's wishes but also are technically truthful. If she is guilty of anything, they say, it is providing incomplete information. [...]
Sanders routinely dodges questions on hot topics by telling reporters she has not asked the president about it — a deliberate strategy to avoid having to wade into delicate issues, according to a Sanders confidant.
She deflects nearly every question about the special counsel's investigation into Russian interference in the election unless she has a prepared statement from the president to read — a protective move against creating legal exposure for herself with extemporaneous answers. [The Washington Post]
Despite this habit of omission, Sanders is friendly and collegial to journalists one-on-one, the Post reports, in contrast to the more adversarial role she takes during press briefings. "Sarah has always been coolheaded and professional and always gives our arguments for greater transparency and openness a respectful hearing," Olivier Knox, incoming president of the White House Correspondents' Association, told the Post. Read the full profile here.