Media critic

In an interview with CBN News, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders revealed her inner thoughts about the spread of feisty correspondents who very occasionally assemble in the briefing room to toss questions in her direction. “I don’t want to generalize the crowd but I mean you do, you see a lot of like angry faces. People that their sole purpose is to find this gotcha moment, to catch you,” she told CBN’s David Brody.

So reporters in the briefing room look angry? We can only wonder just what could be irking them. Maybe it’s because, at any given time, one of the following things may have happened:

  • Sanders just opened her briefing by saying “missed you guys,” after she broke a record for the longest span with no press briefing.
  • Sanders just told the assembled reporters that she’s “really tight on time today” or a similar phrase, for no good apparent reason.
  • Sanders just told the room that she had scheduled the briefing hard against another commitment: “We’ll get to as many things as we can before we have to break for the President’s event.” 
  • Sanders's boss just called the reporters the “enemy of the people.” 
  • Sanders just said the news outlets that are the “enemy of the people” “probably know who they are.” 
  • Sanders just avoided a question by directing a reporter back to the president’s remarks.
  • Sanders just deflected a question by saying she would get back to you, though in all likelihood she won’t.
  • Sanders just blew through a follow-up question: “Sorry, I’m going to keep moving.” 
  • Sanders just issued a statement condemning mail bombs sent to various individuals but excluded a news organization that was also targeted.
  • Sanders just said she “can’t get into any details,” as if she ever does.
  • Sanders just told a CNN correspondent, “I know it’s hard for you to understand even short sentences, I guess.” 
  • Sanders just said, “We give the best information that we have at the time.” 
  • Sanders just said, “I’ve addressed this, I don’t have anything else to add.” 
  • Sanders just avoided questions on a scandal by saying things such as, “I wouldn’t have access to that information. I wouldn’t know the answer to that” and “I can’t speak to [that] … and therefore can’t comment on the process” and “I haven’t asked [the president] about that, specifically.” 
  • Sanders just sidestepped a question by referring a reporter to a tweet from her boss.
  • Sanders just said, “I’d refer you back to the president’s outside counsel.” 
  • Sanders just said, “Anything beyond that, I would refer you to the president’s outside counsel.” 
  • Sanders just said, “I’m not aware of any other activity, but I would refer you to Rudy Giuliani to respond to any of those questions or anybody else on the president’s outside counsel.” 
  • Sanders just said, “The president maintains that he’s done nothing wrong. I’d refer you to Rudy Giuliani.” 
  • Sanders just said, “I’d refer you back to him.” 
  • Sanders just said, “You’re referencing a letter that came directly from outside counsel and I would refer you to them.” 
  • Sanders just said, “For questions specific about comments by Mr. Giuliani, I’d refer you back to him.” 
  • Sanders just said, “That’s something that I would refer you to the Trump Organization.” 
  • Sanders just said, “And beyond that I don’t have anything to add, but I’d refer you back to the president’s comments.” 
  • Sanders just said, in reference to calls for the president to release his tax returns, “I’m not aware of any plan to do that, but if it changes, I’ll certainly let you know.” 
  • Sanders just said, “I’m not aware of anything on that front.” 
  • Sanders just said, “I’m not aware of any conversations regarding that at all.” 
  • Sanders just said she was “not aware” of controversial comments by then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
  • Sanders just said, “I’m not aware of anybody here ever working with WikiLeaks in any capacity.” 
  • Sanders just said, “I’m not aware of any statement like that that Stephen Miller has ever made, and it’s certainly not the policy of the administration.” 
  • Sanders just said, “I’m not aware of any contact from those individuals.” 
  • Sanders just said, “I’m not aware of that. I haven’t had any conversations regarding that matter.” 
  • It was raining.
  • It was cold.

Read more:

James Downie: What is the point of Sarah Sanders?

Erik Wemple: CNN joins MSNBC in shunning Sarah Sanders briefing

Erik Wemple: Ten takeaways from Sarah Sanders’s disappearance from White House briefings

Erik Wemple: Sarah Sanders ditches briefings for Fox — so that’s what the press corps is watching

Erik Wemple: Sarah Sanders on her legacy wish: ‘Transparent and honest’