- White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders faced backlash for tweeting a spoof of a Mueller-themed March Madness-style bracket that mocked critics of President Donald Trump.
- The bracket included notable journalists, actors, and professors, including Rachel Maddow, Jimmy Kimmel, and Robert De Niro. Jonathan Chait, a writer at New York Magazine who was included in the post, tweeted “career achievement unlocked.”
- The press secretary’s post comes after Attorney General William Barr released a summary of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation that found no evidence of collusion between the president and Russia.
- Barr’s summary, which made the determination that Mueller’s evidence was not sufficient to prosecute Trump for obstruction of justice, has been accused of bias, due to a memo he wrote last year that called the special counsel investigation “legally insupportable.” Lawmakers are now calling for the public release of the full report.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders faced swift backlash for sharing on Twitter a spoof of a Mueller-themed March Madness-style bracket that mocked notable journalists, actors, professors, analysts, and others critical of President Donald Trump in the wake of the special counsel’s investigation.
The bracket, first published by the New York Post, was created following a summary of Mueller’s report by Attorney General William Barr that found no evidence of collusion between the president and Russia. Those allegations have overshadowed Trump since the beginning of his presidency.
Barr’s summary has emboldened the president and his supporters to unleash a firestorm of political ammunition against his critics. After Trump announced “total exoneration” from the Mueller investigation, his reelection campaign went on the offense with a fundraising text sent out on Sunday that read “Dems raised millions off a lie. Now we FIGHT BACK! Donate in the NEXT HOUR and it’ll be QUADRUPLED.”
The Trump campaign also sent a memo to TV stations asking them to consider dropping six current and former intelligence and Democratic officials, including former CIA director John Brennan, Dem. Rep. Jerry Nadler, and Dem. Rep. Adam Schiff, in response to their commentary and predictions prior to the release of Mueller’s report. The memo accused them of making “outlandish, false claims” and claimed that Democratic leaders and others lied to the American people.
While the president claimed he was fully exonerated, Mueller was quoted in the summary as writing “while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him” for charges of obstruction of justice. Barr’s summary has been accused of bias, due to a memo he wrote last year that called the special counsel investigation “legally insupportable,” and lawmakers are now calling for the public release of the full report.
“Mueller Madness!” Sanders wrote in her tweet on Monday. “Which of the angry and hysterical @realDonaldTrump haters got it most embarrassingly wrong? #YouDecide”
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) March 26, 2019
She retweeted the post on Tuesday, adding: “How many times do the Democrats and their liberal media allies have to be proven embarrassingly wrong about @realDonaldTrump before they finally accept he’s been a great President?”
Twitter users were quick to respond to Sanders. Susan Hennessey, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institute, asked how “is this an acceptable thing for the White House press secretary to tweet out about members of the press and ordinary American citizens?” while former White House photographer Pete Souza called the tweet “sick and disturbing.”
How is this an acceptable thing for the White House press secretary to tweet out about members of the press and ordinary American citizens? https://t.co/wVDL923kMf
— Susan Hennessey (@Susan_Hennessey) March 26, 2019
This is a sick and disturbing tweet by the WH press secretary https://t.co/Tu5XVDLoYi
— Pete Souza (@PeteSouza) March 26, 2019
Is this the White House distributing an enemies list? https://t.co/TirFvdRCsQ
— Jim Brunner (@Jim_Brunner) March 26, 2019
This tweet will come back to haunt her in about 6-8 months.
— Ryan Medina (@RyanMedinaX) March 26, 2019
Just when you thought you couldn't be more unprofessional…
— Roland Scahill (@rolandscahill) March 26, 2019
I'm not sure why this is deemed appropriate to tweet from an OFFICIAL GOVERNMENT ACCOUNT.
— Nic at Nite (@NDot58) March 26, 2019
Bill Kristol, editor-at-large of The Bulwark, and who was included in the bracket, took to Twitter to poke fun at Sanders, saying he was “honored to have a #1 seed.” Jonathan Chait, a writer at New York Magazine who was also included, wrote “career achievement unlocked.”
As a mere mid-major, @BulwarkOnline is honored to have a #1 seed. But I fear we’re heading to defeat by a formidable first-round opponent, @NatashaBertrand, from the wealthy and powerful @TheAtlantic conference. pic.twitter.com/Q3Jx5uNJnG
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) March 26, 2019
Wow, the White House made a list of people who noticed all the illicit contacts and financial ties Trump and his campaign had with Russia, and I made it! Career achievement unlocked. https://t.co/x4sFeKXzam
— Jonathan Chait (@jonathanchait) March 26, 2019
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