Sanders Under Fire Over Conflicting Trump Tweets

SarahHuckabeeSandersContradictions in the statements coming from the Trump White House have become an increasingly difficult subject for the White House briefings where Press Secretary Sarah Sanders is often tasked with denying obviously false statements.  Sanders has developed a maddening cadence where she simply repeats an answer to another question or restates an obviously unresponsive answer. That pattern was on display Monday where Sanders simply said that President Donald Trump was speaking truthfully when he made two demonstrably contradicting statements about supporting one of the immigration bills in Congress.

On Wednesday, Trump tweeted “HOUSE REPUBLICANS SHOULD PASS THE STRONG BUT FAIR IMMIGRATION BILL, KNOWN AS GOODLATTE II.”  However, when the immigration bill stalled in Congress, Trump tweeted the following “I never pushed the Republicans in the House to vote for the Immigration Bill, either GOODLATTE 1 or 2, because it could never have gotten enough Democrats as long as there is the 60 vote threshold.”


Matt Nussbaum of Politico asked Sanders “Why would the president lie about something like that?”

Sanders responded, “He didn’t. The president has talked all along, we’ve laid out the priorities and the principles that we support, that we wanted to see reflected in legislation. But at the same time the president wasn’t aggressively lobbying members, because he knew that democrats in Senate still were unwilling to actually come to the table.”

After the word “didn’t” the answer veered off into the ether. The fact is that Trump did call for the passage of Goodlatte II and then later said that he did not push for its passage.

There is a legitimate concern over a White House which denies clearly established facts and does not attempt even a plausible explanation.  It is possible that Trump could claim that he did not actively lobby Congress but he clearly did push for passage in his public statements.  The utter disregard shown over such contradictions is deeply concerning for the public and deeply damaging for the Administration.

196 thoughts on “Sanders Under Fire Over Conflicting Trump Tweets”

  1. All she has to say is the President has more to do than explain when he changes his mind. Why should he explain when the press seldom correct their works reports.

    1. Or, “the last thing the President said is the Truth. Anything he said beforehand is ancient history and should be ignored.”

  2. “ There is a legitimate concern over a White House which denies clearly established facts and does not attempt even a plausible explanation. “

    I don’t see the problem Professor Turley sees. I see a President who is conflicted, wanting a solution to the problem and willing to compromise but is being thwarted. In a way, we are seeing the working of his mind and his impatience that there is no support by Democrats (even though he was in the past willing to give the 1.8 million DACA legality. They want impeachment only for political reasons) and too many Republicans are unable to support bold measures. He wants a reasonable bill providing border security, but it is hard to lead when his RINO followers are running the wrong way. I don’t see such conflict to be disturbing at all for a leader that is used to getting things done.

    Just consider this an out loud fine-tuning of his thoughts. One might also want to recognize how often people make verbal mistakes whether true or not or indicating some other thoughts going through the mind. [Ex: Obama: 57 states, my Muslim religion…]

    1. You mean, he gets frustrated because when he says “Jump,” not everyone jumps.

      1. ““Jump,” not everyone jumps.”

        Not at all. The frustration comes not from conflict or agreement but from people that cannot act at all, do not know the subject matter they are dealing with and are unwilling to learn. For him, conflict with a sensible individual Democrat, Rino, tea party, etc. that holds a differing but legitimate viewpoint is not a frustrating problem rather it is something that can be dealt with. It is the lunacy of Democrats that push for open borders without a solution to the problems that would occur that make it so frustrating.

        Your statement points out a type of shallow thinking that should stop and be replaced by deeper thought.

        1. Strawman argument. More Pravda Faux News shilling. Thanks for playing.

          This is to “hannity says the words ‘open borders’ so I say the words ‘open borders’ too” allan

          1. “Strawman argument.”

            So you say, but the argument found the perfect strawman. You. What was it the strawman lacked? A brain. Suits you fine Mark.

  3. ” In a time of universal deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act ” G. Orwell

  4. I never pushed the Republicans in the House to vote for the Immigration Bill,…

    Childish. How about a follow up question rather than running off to lay claim to a Pulitzer? Perhaps ask, what does President Trump mean when he uses the word pushed? I ask because his 1st tweet could be considered pushing. Why the appearance of inconsistency? And once clarity is provided, move on.

    1. I think, to a degree, the reporters at these press conferences are so confused and discombobulated by these non-answers, that they aren’t able to frame a better response or follow-up, in real time.

      1. Then they have no business being in those press briefings. Seriously, if I’m listening to anyone and they’ve made themselves unclear in real time, I’m going to ask for clarity. In real time. If I don’t care or want to use that lack of clarity to report my own agenda, then I won’t bother.

  5. What is this obsession with calling every inconsistency or untrue statement, a lie? Not every untrue statement is a lie nor it every inconsistency. The left used to bleat about nuance, used to understand hyperbole, now everything is a lie and an offense to the truth.
    What used to be called “walkng back” a statement, is now a lie! Political overstatement like “Obama founded ISIS”, is now screamed out as a lie!
    Not only does this childish fixation help to degrade our worsening tone of debate but it robs the word lie of its power..
    When the wolf does come, no one will pay any attention to the cries.

    1. Thank you. My thoughts exactly. I don’t recall any WH press sec being held to this same standard. In any case, if this was a Dem WH, they would be crying “sexism” at every pronouncement against her.

      1. It’s not sexism. It’s a reaction to blatant lying. As an added bonus, it’s also reaction to contradictory statem bits made by this maladministration.

    2. What would it take, then, coming out of Trump — to actually constitute a lie?

      1. Jay, it would be something like this: “If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor.” That was Obama’s answer where a bill was being passed so it was in black and white. He knew or should have known that the statement was an intentional lie before it was made. This lie was to confuse the public and the legislators. It was planned, not off the cuff and was very clear.

        1. We have to remember several factors in relation to your comment:
          – doctors join and leave plans regularly
          – employer-provided health plans change insurance companies frequently
          – we need to rem member the “keep your doctor” idea was subject to the agreement of the congress.

          1. Obama was reassuring the American public of how good Obamacare was. He intentionally lied to the people and today they realize that statement was a lie. He also lied to the public about costs and today the public knows that was a blatant lie as well.

            It turns out that none of the above statements you made above were unknown to Obama when he made his remark and there were things in the bill that made it so many could not keep their doctor outside of all the other factors.

            Obamacare was predicted to fail for a number of good reasons and those predictions hit the nail on the head and were entirely accurate. There was no way Obamacare could survive based on the law itself.

            The Obama Administration’s very influential Jonathan Gruber said:

            “This bill was written in a tortured way to make sure CBO did not score the mandate as taxes. If [Congressional Budget Office] scored the mandate as taxes, the bill dies. Okay, so it’s written to do that. In terms of risk-rated subsidies, if you had a law which said that healthy people are going to pay in -– you made explicit that healthy people pay in and sick people get money — it would not have passed… Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. And basically, call it the STUPIDITY of the American voter, or whatever, but basically that was really, really critical for the thing to pass. ” (caps mine)

        2. Whataboutism and kellyanne pivot. Pro tip: just because he’s an old white doesn’t mean he’s not a traitorous, malevolent imbecile.

          This is to “I guess I could learn Russian, if I hafta” allan

          1. Mark, you are just pissed because you thought Obama said If you like your psychiatrist you can keep him.

            1. Another factual post by Allan with no disparagement.

              Pure facts.

              The man is a genius.

              1. WWAS, I’m glad you liked and agreed with my post to Mark. By the way do you two share the same psychiatrist?

                1. Another brilliant response.

                  How did your ability to — as you put it — argue with reason and logic become stunted at a sixth-grade level.

                  Throw some more gutter swill, Allan. You impress no one.

                  1. I don’t find the need to impress you WWAS. You are a nothing. I pity you.

              1. We needed government policy to relax a bit so more competition could bring in lower prices. The government didn’t help by making all sorts of requests that led to huge amounts of money being wasted. The government can subsidize those in need and they could upgrade the Medicaid program with all the money they wasted.

                Today we have a middle class that can barely afford the premiums (many can’t) leaving them with little or no money to pay the deductible, copay and unpaid care.

                1. Yes, it’s called greed.

                  Sounds like you.

                  One can argue forever the existing paradigms and how people don’t deserve a place at the table for reasons used to establish needs from want — but to forgo the obvious for the few places you, Allan, in a class of hypocrisy all your own.

                  1. You are not making much sense in this last posting but don’t be confused by what greed is. Generally, those that claim others are greedy do so out of envy. That

              2. WWAS – logic dictates if they didn’t have a doctor, to begin with, they couldn’t keep their non-existent doctor. This post is just silly.

          1. Jay S – I liked my doctor and I kept my doctor, however, I have a Cadillac insurance policy. 😉 I even have a very nice nurse who calls me every month to check up on me and talk about films. I report certain info to them every day and if they do not like my answers I get an extended phone call making sure I am okay.

  6. Darren:

    I think my comment got caught in the ether of moderation, can you edit it as you please and free it? Thanks.

  7. I don’t see that making a normative statement about a topic and then saying you are not taking the same action on that topic constitutes a “lie.” Tale for example these two sentences:

    1. People should donate to Mother Theresa’s charity as it’s a good thing to do.
    2. I didn’t donate to Mother Theres’s charity because I donated all I had available to the American Cancer Society
    Are these two statements lies? Are they even inconsistent? Does the Press hold Trump to different standards because they hate him?

    In Trump’s case, he made a normative statement to everyone about what Repubicans in Congress should do. He then added that he didn’t push them becaue he knew it was pointless given the rules in place. These weren’t “lies.” They were statements of what should happen and what action was feasible. If he said, “In a perfect world, House Republicans should have supported Goodlatte II but given the 60 vote rule in the Senate I can see why they wouldn’t and I wouldn’t push them to,” would we be having this discussion?

    Being inarticulate, doesn’t make you a liar; it makes you inarticulate. Asking loaded questions of the Press Secretary in an attempt to discredit her boss rather than inform the public, does make you a jackarse, however.

    1. You’re right that being inarticulate is different from lying. But to qualify as a competent President, one needs to be articulate.

      1. Exactly!! For example, Bill Clinton was an exquisitely articulate liar.

      2. Chris Bacon – you can be articulate and incompetent or inarticulate and competent. The one does not subsume the other.

    2. “Does the Press hold Trump to different standards because they hate him?”

      Um, yup. Excellent, particularly your last sentence.

  8. Slow news day for Turley. Trump White House needs to improve on consistency of its messaging – yawn. Time for everybody to head to beach and enjoy rejuvenated economy and well-positioned Supreme Court.

    1. “Rejuvenated?” So that’s the swill Pravda Faux News is filling your ilk with today?

      This is to “who knew international trade was so complicated” billie

      1. Yes Marky Mark – “rejuvenated” – open your eyes the next time you take a walk around the block and you will see for yourself.

        1. Right. Tell the employees of Mid-Continent Nail–the largest nail manufacturer in the United States–(I tell you because I’m quite sure you didn’t get this on Pravda Faux News) about how “rejuvenated” the economy is. And though it sucks, that just one company amongst many. On the bright side though, you and your ilk get to imagine that the American people actually support putting little brown children in concentration camps. Pro tip: hannity is not actually a journalist.

          this is to “but they don’t look like me, so whadoo I care” billie

          1. Dude, Dig a little and you will see the company is lobbying for an exclusion. Company had months to manage inventory purchases in advance of tariffs. There is an inelastic demand for the purchases of nails, nobody goes nail shopping unless absolutely needed. Expect to see this ploy from other companies lobbying for tariff exemptions. Sean Hannity is on past my bedtime but it looks like he gets under your skin. Instead of hate-watching Hannity and love-watching Rachel Madcow Maddow why don’t you take that walk around the block and put your eyeballs to better use and you might like what you see via eyeball test. Might even compel you to grab an ice cream or snow cone and enjoy improved economy.


    Trump tweeted “I never pushed the Republicans in the House to vote for the Immigration Bill, either GOODLATTE 1 or 2, because it could never have gotten enough Democrats as long as there is the 60 vote threshold.”

    The best way to “square” any given “pair” of inconsistent Trump tweets is to identify the misinformation present in one tweet that is missing from the other tweet. In this case, it is Trump’s reference to the 60 vote threshold [in The Senate] that squares the inconsistency with the Trump tweet about Republicans in The House of Representatives. Trump has repeatedly lodged complaints against the 60 vote threshold [in The Senate] in the past. The simple fact that the 60 vote threshold in The Senate has nothing whatsoever to do with Republicans in The House of Representatives is, therefore, the non-sequitur that squares the inconsistency. IOW, because Trump is clueless and knows not whereof he tweets, therefore Turley is just-plain flat-out wrong–again.

  10. “Pushed” is kind of like breaking arms. LBJ did that when he got Congress to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It is one thing to encourage them to vote for something and another thing to “push” them. There is a difference. Sanders was correct. People like to bitch about Sanders and sort of imply that she is a bitch. Not the case. She does a good job. Not a good low job.

    1. The only reason they hate Sanders is she works for Trump. She’s tough and agile. Things that would be admired in a Dem press sec, man or woman.

      1. Sorry, no. She works for a liar who lies to the American people on a daily basis. She’s well-aware of this fact, yet rather than resign like anyone with integrity would, she propagates the lies. Thus, she is a liar, as well. Your fellow-traveller gullible rubes have a saying: “when you lie down with dogs, you gonna get fleas.”

        This is to “well, I guess fleas aren’t so bad, after all” suzie

        1. Marky Mark Mark – this from someone who works with criminals at least 5 days a week. The hypocrisy is strong on this one.

          1. Never forget, my clients are “accused.” I fight for the Constitution, which includes the right to counsel. I would wield the shield of justice and zealously defend even you were the overarching power of the government brought to bear upon you.

            this is to “but I’m old and white, they’d never charge me, would they?” paulie

            1. Marky Mark Mark – you fight for the money, let’s be real. And I have long reconciled myself that when the revolution comes I will be one of the first against the wall. However, given how you write on here, I would go pro se rather than have you defend me in court.

              One in five hundred posts you post something that is both thoughtful and worth the rest of us contemplating. Sadly, the rest are attacks on commentators. Those are repetitive and hackneyed.

              1. You continuously forget that I’m not trying to convince you, your ilk, or the other mouth-breathers here about anything. I grew up in the south; I know your types will carry your antebellum claptrap with you to the grave; which is how change actually comes to pass. So carry on with your “MAGA” codeword nonsense; tsk-tsk over the anecdotal accounts of the shortcomings of those who don’t look like you; screech about the conspiracy hully-gully regarding objective facts which don’t comport with the alternative universe spooned out to you by hannity; but in the end take all that with you into the dirt.

                this is to “oh, he really is here only to ridicule me” paulie

                1. Marky Mark Mark – I know you are here because you have emotional pain in your life and you use this blog to relieve it. Attacking us makes you feel better about yourself. Even a blind man could see that. Still, you would be better off with a professional therapist then dumping on us. I cannot do anything about curing your low self-esteem.

                  Unlike you, I am capable of creating new content every day and on demand. You are a copyist. No one follows a copyist.

    1. David Benson owes me five citations (one from the OED) and the source of a quotation, after six weeks – you learned to link an article. Now there is no reason not to get me my citations and my source.

      1. Paul C Schulte. Yours. Find those yourself, if you are capable of doing so. If not, ask the reference librarian at your local public library.

        1. David Benson owes me five citations (one from the OED) and the source of a quotation, after six weeks – As I have explained before, only YOU can pick out the correct definition from the many definitions in the OED. Only YOU know what source you used for your information. Therefore, YOU have to do the work.

    2. So, does this study claim that adding greenhouse gases to the atmosphere is a good idea, and will have no serous consequences?

    1. hollywood – I too complain about the choices JT makes. I think he should be focusing on the Rosenstein-Wray hearing and the lying that went on. Check out and click on the hearings.

      1. 880,000 divided by 1.2 million equals 73.33%. The remaining 26.67% will be produced when they’re good and ready, but if, and only if, there’s no grand jury evidence in the remaining 26.67%.

    2. Whatever happened to having Justices that we didn’t identify as left or right? Or did that ever happen?

      1. Not lately, sorry to say. There was also a time when Senators viewed those across the aisle as patriotic comrades with differing views, and not bitter enemies to the death..

  11. As much as he displays a genius in leading the media and the left in particular around by their liddo tweedies I would look for the answer in the contempt in which Trump holds the most of the media. He can contact more people through tweets than the so called media can and add to that the other means of communication such as the White House Letter which comes out daily and then finally comes the archaic after thought called the ‘media’

    I refer again to Tom Clancy’s classic portrayal of the media in the line, “Why should I trust you. You are a reporter.” I certainly take nothing the medias print or speak without fact checking it thoroughly. and haven’t since child hood. That built in caution has never failed me.

    But contempt is a word I chose Sanders and Trump may put it a different way. “Used” for example. After all would you give a war or anything else of importance and layout the whole plan for media? Look at todays ridiculous waste of time on Roe V Wade? Did any of them atop to mention there is absolutely NO such bill pending before congress or the Supreme Court? And only one mentioned that onloy one Supreme would be expected to chainge the current federal rules on the subject.

    So meanwhile that was one ‘free gimmee day’ on important matters. None of which was discussed nor leaked.

    1. Come to think of it for most of the media ‘ used with contempt’ would be my top choice. What else are they good for?

  12. This is gaslighting. It is a technique abusive people do to manipulate victims.

    It is when an abuser uses misdirection and lies to get the victims to question their own sanity.

    1. MarryAHispanic – you have used this gaslighting technique before? You have some expertise, do you?

        1. MarryAlHispanic – you would learn more about it if you watched the original movie. 😉

          1. I’m telling you, it’s experimentally-induced psychosis. Trump can’t tell the difference between the ellipse versus the perfect circle any better than Trump can tell the difference between The House versus The Senate. That’s why Trump’s tweets are so mangled. Because Trump mauls his own tweets. Because, clueless.

            1. L4D enables David Benson – you mangle your comments and you are years younger than he is. Chemicals? Alcohol? Sleep-deprived? Congenital mental impairment?

              Yours Demi-god Paul C. Schulte.

              1. Paul C. Schulte,..
                -I think she only diagnoses the psychosis of others, but is not capable of diagnosing her own psychosis.

      1. Common technique of the left where a lie is anything said or done to advance The Party and may also be simultaneously called The Truth.

  13. I don’t agree with your analysis… although Trump tweets don’t make it easy sometimes. Trump first tweet was his opinion that the Republicans should pass Goodlatte II, but the second statement could also be true, that he didn’t “PUSH” for passage, which would imply that he would have made phone calls to members or invited them in to pressure them….very different from the first statement. By the way, I am GLAD that neither bill passed!

    1. Are you also anti-Catholic and their anti-abortion stance. Only reason I can see for the left to dump DACA etc

  14. Who really cares? I have been watching Rod Rosenstein lie to the American people and Congress and I am angry. JT where is your comment about that?

    1. Rachel Maddow? No one sane takes her seriously. Talk about gaslighting! She’s the queen of the MSM in this area. Makes stuff up all the time.

      Just last week:

      When Rachel Maddow said Putin orchestrated Trump-Kim summit

      “After theatrically revealing to her viewers that North Korea has a small border with Russia — as though it was some kind of geographic revelation only recently discovered by her team of producers — MSNBC host Rachel Maddow proceeded to advance an insane conspiracy theory about the recent Singapore Summit between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

      The reason, she suggested (without evidence), that Trump had suddenly called off war games around the Korean Peninsula was… because Putin had asked him to. Maddow was lambasted on Twitter for that and the numerous other times she has advanced Russiagate conspiracies.”

        1. Haha. More “Deep State” prattle. Please post more of this type of material.

          This is to “I’ve also got the scoop on the Trilateral Commission too” autumnic

          1. Marky Mark working for the Deep State. Destroying the nation. Hope the pay is worth it traitor

  15. House members complained Trump did not push Goodlatte 1. More fake news.

  16. I think the press needs to totally ignore Trump’s tweeting. His statements are an obvious attempt to refocus attention away from his actions and scandals.

    I strongly urge Turley to go on Rachel Maddow to discuss the administration. She NEVER discusses Trump’s tweets and focuses solely on actions his administration takes or on discussions of the legal dilemmas surrounding his administration.

    There is an old saying: “Actions speak louder than words.” And it is 100% true.

    1. Speaking of holding the media in contempt that is one very good reason to do exactly that..

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