White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders held her first press briefing in nearly a month on Tuesday, and also the first briefing since the post-midterm election confrontation between Trump and Jim Acosta. The CNN reporter has since had his press badge suspended and then reinstated by the orders of a federal judge, and was likewise in attendance at Tuesday’s briefing.
While Acosta and his colleagues must apparently adhere to new “rules” for reporters at the White House, that didn’t stop the graphics department at CNN from getting some subtle jabs in. Inevitably, Sanders was asked about the climate change report that the Trump administration quietly released last Friday, and the president’s unwillingness to take it seriously.
“Brutal and Extended Cold Blast could shatter ALL RECORDS,” Trump tweeted days before the report was released, “Whatever happened to Global Warming?” Likewise on Monday, he plainly told reporters that he didn’t believe the findings of the report.
In response to the question, Sanders doled out her usual gas-lighting tactics:
“The president is certainly leading on what matters most in this process and that’s on having clean air and clean water. The United States continues to be a leader on that front. Even Obama’s undersecretary for science didn’t believe the radical conclusions of the report that was released and you have to look at the fact that this report is based on the most extreme model scenario, which contradicts long-established trends. Modeling the climate is an extremely complicated science that is never exact. The biggest thing we can do is focused on having the cleanest air and water and the president is leading on that front.”
Meanwhile, while airing the live briefing, CNN rolled out some “Facts First” bullet points indirectly contradicting Sanders about the report: “Climate Change report involved 300 scientists, 13 federal agencies,” “Co-Author: Not paid for report,” and “Open for review & transparency before publishing.”
One might think it would be hard to call “fake news” on the very findings of one’s own administration, but when the only way to go is down, anything is possible.