In the hours after President Donald Trump said on an Oct. 17 radio broadcast that he had contacted nearly every family that had lost a military servicemember this year, the White House was hustling to learn from the Pentagon the identities and contact information for those families, according to an internal Defense Department email.Chris Cillizza at CNN:
The email exchange, which has not been previously reported, shows that senior White House aides were aware on the day the president made the statement that it was not accurate — but that they should try to make it accurate as soon as possible, given the gathering controversy.
Not only had the president not contacted virtually all the families of military personnel killed this year, the White House did not even have an up-to-date list of those who had been killed.
The exchange between the White House and the Defense secretary’s office occurred about 5 p.m. on Oct. 17. The White House asked the Pentagon for information about surviving family members of all servicemembers killed after Trump’s inauguration so that the president could be sure to contact all of them.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said something during her daily press briefing Friday that actually took my breath away.
CBS News' Chip Reid asked Sanders about a factual inaccuracy in White House chief of staff and retired Marine Corps Gen. John Kelly's attack on Florida Democratic Rep. Frederica Wilsonon Thursday. Here's how Sanders responded:
"If you want to go after General Kelly, that is up to you. If you want to get into a debate with a four-star Marine general, I think that is something highly inappropriate.
Just in case you don't get what Sanders is suggesting, it's something like this: General Kelly is a highly decorated soldier. As such, questioning things that he says is "highly inappropriate."
That's not how democracy works. Not at all. In fact, it's the opposite of how democracy works.