- White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders defended the administration’s seemingly incompatible statements about the FISA law, which was reauthorized in the House on Thursday.
- Multiple reporters pressed Sanders about whether President Donald Trump understood the law.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders clashed with multiple reporters who asked about the seemingly contradictory statements the administration issued on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
Early on Thursday, Sanders released a statement opposing an amendment that would’ve increased limits on surveillance allowed under the law. But she was quickly contradicted by the president, who tweeted following a Fox News segment saying that the act “may have been used, with the help of the discredited and phony Dossier, to so badly surveil and abuse the Trump Campaign by the previous administration and others?”
During the daily press briefing, Sanders insisted the president was familiar with the House bill, including Section 702, which allows some warrantless surveillance of foreigners overseas.
“We don’t think there was a conflict at all,” Sanders said, adding that Trump was pleased with the House bill but has “overall concern” about the surveillance policies.
In a separate exchange, NBC’s Hallie Jackson said Trump’s tweets were “confusing,” and “contradictory,” and asked how lawmakers were supposed to trust presidential surrogates.
“I think that the premise of your question is completely ridiculous and shows the lack of knowledge you have on this issue,” Sanders replied.
When she continued to press Sanders, she replied: “It wasn’t confusing for me, I’m sorry if it was for you.”
Sanders personally attacks @HallieJackson after she asks a question about Trump's confusing FISA tweet.
"I think that the premise of your question is completely ridiculous and shows the lack of knowledge that you have on this process." pic.twitter.com/kCX2wfXrdI
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) January 11, 2018
Earlier in the press briefing, Sanders attempted to brush off CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta’s questions about whether Trump fired off many early morning tweets after watching “Fox & Friends” segments, a well-documented habit.
“I’m sure you’re disappointed he’s not watching CNN,” Sanders said.
“I think he watches a lot of CNN, if you don’t mind me saying,” Acosta replied
“I don’t think that’s true, or your numbers would be higher,” Sanders said.