Toward the end of Wednesday’s White House press briefing, Sarah Sanders got into a heated exchange with NBC News reporter Peter Alexander over a question about Tuesday’s deadly school shooting in Kentucky. The press secretary was particularly incensed by the White House correspondent’s questions regarding the administration’s policies for preventing similar tragedies from happening in the future. After all, as the New York Times pointed out late Tuesday, what happened at Marshall County High School was the 11th shooting in less than a month. Needless to say, Sanders wasn’t too happy about Alexander’s questions.
“Any loss of life is incredibly sad. Any shooting at any school across this country is something that should never happen,” Sanders said of Alexander’s initial question about what the Trump White House was doing in response. “Students fearing for their lives while they’re attempting to get an education is unacceptable.” When she quickly pivoted to the claim that “two years of increased violence” had been occurring prior to Trump’s first day in office, however, Alexander and other reporters in the room interrupted Sanders with pressing followups — especially when she tried to equate Kentucky with a so-called “recent crime wave.”
“Will the president come before the nation and tell Americans how he feels about this issue, and try to do what he can from the ‘bully pulpit’ to help?” Alexander interjected. Cue Sanders’ heated response:
“The fact that you’re basically accusing the president of being complicit in a school shooting is outrageous… The president has been very clear and instructed the top law enforcement agency in this country to crack down on crime and to do everything they can to prevent these types of things.”
Previously, Sanders revealed that Trump had “extended his condolences to the governor of Kentucky during a call.” The president meanwhile tweeted during the press briefing that he had spoken with Gov. Matt Bevin earlier in the day. “My thoughts and prayers are with Bailey Holt, Preston Cope, their families, and all of the wounded victims who are in recovery,” he wrote. “We are with you!”
The timing of which is interesting, since Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau apparently called Bevin and offered him his and his country’s condolences… on Tuesday.