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Sarah Huckabee Sanders

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Sarah Huckabee Sanders
SarahHuckabeeSanders.jpg
29th White House Press Secretary
Assumed office
July 26, 2017
President Donald Trump
Deputy Raj Shah
Preceded by Sean Spicer
White House Deputy Press Secretary
In office
January 20, 2017 – July 26, 2017
President Donald Trump
Leader Sean Spicer
Preceded by Eric Schultz
Succeeded by Raj Shah
Personal details
Born Sarah Elizabeth Huckabee
(1982-08-13) August 13, 1982 (age 36)
Hope, Arkansas, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s)
Bryan Sanders (m. 2010)
Children 3
Parents
Education Ouachita Baptist University (BA)

Sarah Elizabeth Huckabee Sanders[1] (born August 13, 1982) is an American campaign manager and political adviser who currently serves as the twenty-ninth White House Press Secretary under President Donald Trump.

Early life and education

Sarah Elizabeth Huckabee was born on August 13, 1982,[not in citation given] in Hope, Arkansas, the youngest child and only daughter of Mike Huckabee and Janet (née McCain) Huckabee.[2][3] She has two brothers, John Mark Huckabee and David Huckabee.[3] Following graduation from Little Rock Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas,[4] Huckabee attended Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. There, she was elected student body president and was active in Republican organizations. In 2004, she graduated from the university with a Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in political science and minoring in mass communications.[5][6][7]

Career

Early political career

Huckabee Sanders and Mike Huckabee in 2005

Sanders was involved in her father's first campaign for the United States Senate in 1992. Describing the unsuccessful bid in an interview for The Hill, she said: "He didn't really have much of a staff, so our family has been very engaged and very supportive of my dad. I was stuffing envelopes, I was knocking on doors, I was putting up yard signs."[3] Her father described her childhood, saying: "I always say that when most kids are seven or eight years old out jumping rope, she was sitting at the kitchen table listening to political commentators analyze poll results." Huckabee said that he and his wife spoiled Sarah at times. He called her "doggone tough" and "fearless" due to having grown up with two brothers.[8]

Sanders was a field coordinator for her father's 2002 reelection campaign for Governor of Arkansas. She was a regional liaison for congressional affairs at the U.S. Department of Education under President George W. Bush.[9] She also worked as a field coordinator for President Bush's re-election campaign in Ohio in 2004.[10]

Sanders is a founding partner of Second Street Strategies in Little Rock, Arkansas, a general consulting services provider[11] for Republican campaigns.[12] She worked on national political campaigns and on campaigns for federal office in Arkansas. Sanders was also vice president of Tsamoutales Strategies.[10] She was national political director for her father's 2008 presidential campaign. She was also a senior adviser to Tim Pawlenty in his 2012 presidential run. She was involved in the campaigns of both U.S. senators from Arkansas, managing John Boozman's 2010 campaign and serving as an adviser to Tom Cotton's 2014 election. After her father's 2008 campaign, she worked as executive director of Huck PAC, a political action committee.[10] She also was national campaign manager for the ONE Campaign, an international organization aimed at ending global poverty and preventable diseases.[10][11]

In 2016, after managing her father's presidential campaign, she signed on as a senior adviser for Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, handling the Trump campaign's communications for coalitions.[13][14]

Presidency of Donald Trump

After Donald Trump was elected, Sanders was named to the position of deputy White House press secretary in his new administration. On May 5, 2017, she held her first White House press briefing, standing in for Press Secretary Sean Spicer, who was serving on Naval Reserve duty.[15] She continued to cover for Spicer until his return to the podium on May 12. She stood in for Spicer during the dismissal of James Comey and the controversy following it. Her defense of the Trump administration's actions led to some speculation that President Trump was considering promoting her to replace Spicer.[16] This was refuted at the time by her father, Mike Huckabee.[17] However, on May 26, The Wall Street Journal again suggested that Sanders was being considered as a possible replacement for Spicer, in the context of wider staff changes and the investigation into alleged communications with Russia.[18] She continued to fill in for Spicer occasionally.[19]

After the dismissal of James Comey by President Trump in May 2017, Sanders said that she "heard from countless members of the FBI that are grateful and thankful for the President's decision" to fire the FBI director. However, emails show that several FBI heads of regional field offices and high-ranking FBI members reacted with dismay to Comey's firing.[20] After Trump sought to discredit Comey and the FBI, Sanders was questioned on a tweet she had sent during the 2016 presidential election that "when you're attacking FBI agents because you're under criminal investigation, you're losing".[21][22] After Comey accused Trump of lying about the circumstances in which Comey was dismissed, Sanders defended Trump: "I can definitively say the president is not a liar, and I think it's frankly insulting that question would be asked."[23]

On June 27, 2017, during a press briefing, Sanders criticized the media, accusing them of spreading "fake news" against Trump. Sanders cited a video created by James O'Keefe. Although she was unsure of the video's accuracy, she said, "I would encourage everyone in this room and, frankly, everybody across the country to take a look at it." The video features CNN's health and medical producer, John Bonifield, saying that CNN's coverage of the Trump campaign's alleged links to Russia are "mostly bullshit" and driven by ratings.[24][25][26]

On June 29, 2017, Sanders said during a press briefing that the "president in no way, form or fashion has ever promoted or encouraged violence." However, in February 2016, Trump said during a presidential campaign speech: "So if you see somebody getting ready to throw a tomato, knock the crap out of them, would you? ... I promise you, I will pay for the legal fees. I promise." Politifact also "found at least seven other examples in which Trump offered public musings that showed a tolerance for, and sometimes even a favorable disposition toward, physical violence."[27]

On July 21, 2017, following Spicer's announcement that he was going to resign, newly appointed White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci announced that Sanders would take the role of White House press secretary.[28] Sanders is the third woman to hold the role of White House Press Secretary after Dee Dee Myers in 1993 and Dana Perino in 2007.[9]

In August 2017, Sanders said President Trump "certainly didn’t dictate" a statement released by Donald Trump Jr. regarding the 2016 Trump Tower meeting with Russians. Sanders also said that President Trump "weighed in, offered suggestion like any father would do." In January 2018, President Trump's lawyers wrote to the special counsel investigation that "the President dictated" the statement released by Donald Trump Jr. In June 2018, Sanders was asked by the media to explain the discrepancy in the statements, but she repeatedly refused to answer the question, saying: "I’m not going to respond to a letter from the president’s outside counsel ... We’ve purposefully walled off, and I would refer you to them for comment", as well as: "I'm an honest person".[29][30][31]

In February 2018, when Rob Porter left the White House over domestic abuse allegations, Sanders said that Porter's background check was "ongoing, and the White House had not received any specific papers regarding the completion of that background check". However, after FBI director Christopher Wray testified that the FBI had finished and submitted its security-clearance investigation on Porter to the White House earlier in July 2017, Sanders instead claimed that it was instead the White House's personnel security office's investigation that was ongoing, which contradicted her earlier statement that the clearance process "doesn't operate within the White House".[32][33] Sanders said that Porter had made a "personal decision" to leave the White House, while White House deputy press secretary Raj Shah said that Porter was "terminated".[34]

In March 2018, Sanders said regarding the Stormy Daniels–Donald Trump scandal, "there was no knowledge of any payments from the president" to Daniels. However, in May 2018, Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani said that Trump had repaid his lawyer Michael Cohen $130,000 after Cohen paid Daniels. In response to questions regarding the discrepancy, Sanders claimed that she did not know of this development and that her earlier statement was based on the "best information" she had at the time.[35]

In mid-June 2018, when questioned on the Trump administration's immigration policies resulting in the separation of migrant children from their parents at the Mexico–United States border, Sanders blamed "legal loopholes that Democrats refuse to close", but stated, "it is very biblical to enforce the law".[36] Christian leaders such as Daniel DiNardo and Franklin Graham strongly disagreed with the policy, calling it "immoral" or "disgraceful", while Bible scholar and professor Matthew Schlimm said that the Bible was being misused just as slave traders and Nazis had done historically.[37]

In July 2018, Sanders said the Trump White House would discuss allowing Russian agents to interrogate former US Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul.[38] The Russian government had harassed and intimidated McFaul for years, without specifying what criminal allegations they would interrogate him in connection to.[39][40][41][42] US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said that she could not answer on behalf of the White House, but that the State Department considered the Russian allegations against McFaul "absolutely absurd."[43] Several current and former diplomats condemned the White House's willingness to entertain Russian interrogation of a former U.S. Ambassador.[44]

In an August 2018 press conference, Sanders was asked multiple times to say that the media was not the "enemy of the people", and Sanders opted not to do so.[45] That same month, The Washington Post reported that Sanders and her deputy Bill Shine strategized optimum times to release announcements that the security clearances of various Trump critics and officials involved in the probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election had been revoked.[46][47] The announcements were intended to be released to distract from news cycles that were unfavorable to the White House.[46][47]

The morning after publication of the September 5, 2018 New York Times op-ed "I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration", Sanders used her official government Twitter account to tweet[48] that the anonymous writer was a "gutless loser" and to charge that those in the newspaper's opinion department are "the only ones complicit in this deceitful act".[49] Sanders' September 6 tweet specified the telephone number of the newspaper's opinion desk, and two former White House ethics chiefs declared that Sanders's tweet had violated federal law in an abuse of power, similar to her June 23, 2018 tweet specifically naming the restaurant that had refused her service in the Red Hen restaurant controversy.[49]

In early November, CNN's Jim Acosta engaged in a verbal argument with Donald Trump. As Acosta was in the process of asking the president a question, an intern, at the direction of Trump, tried to take away his microphone. Later in the day, Acosta's White House credentials were suspended, in a move which was widely criticized as unprecedented.[50] The following day, in order to justify the White House's actions, Sanders released a video of the moment the intern tried to grab the microphone from Acosta's hand. The video originated from conspiracy theorist Paul Joseph Watson of the far-right website Infowars, and was allegedly altered to make Acosta seem aggressive and excluded him saying "Pardon me, ma'am" to the intern. Watson denied that the video was doctored in any way.[51][52] CNN Communications Executive called Sanders' sharing of the video "shameful" and the White House News Photographers Association said they were "appalled" by her actions and called video-manipulation "deceptive, dangerous and unethical." and said that what Sanders did was "equally problematic."[53]

In popular culture

In 2010, Sanders was named one of Time's "40 under 40" in politics.[54]

Like several of her White House colleagues, she has been satirized on Saturday Night Live,[55] in which she is portrayed by Aidy Bryant.[56][57]

Personal life

Huckabee met Bryan Sanders during her father's 2008 presidential campaign. She was the campaign's field director, and Sanders was hired as a media consultant. The couple married in 2010 in Cruz Bay on the island of St. John, part of the U.S. Virgin Islands.[58][1][9] They have three children.[2][59]

On Friday, June 22, 2018, a co-owner of a 26-seat restaurant in Lexington, Virginia, 200 miles from Washington, D.C., asked Sanders to leave the restaurant because Sanders worked for the Trump administration, giving rise to the Red Hen restaurant controversy.[60] Sanders, using her White House Press Secretary Twitter account, named the restaurant that refused to serve her, and former Director of the United States Office of Government Ethics, Walter Shaub said that Sanders had violated ethics laws by "discouraging patronage" and "using her office to get public to pressure it".[61]

References

  1. ^ a b "Huckabee daughter weds in Virgin Islands ceremony". The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. June 27, 2010. Retrieved March 5, 2017. (Subscription required (help)).
  2. ^ a b Guierrez, Lisa (May 11, 2017). "Nine things to know about Sarah Huckabee Sanders, deputy White House press secretary". The Kansas City Star. Kansas City, Missouri: The McClatchy Company. Retrieved May 12, 2017.
  3. ^ a b c McBride, Jessica (May 11, 2017). "Yes, Sarah Huckabee Sanders Is Mike Huckabee's Daughter". Heavy.com. Retrieved May 17, 2017.
  4. ^ Max Brantley (January 19, 2017). "Sarah Huckabee Sanders to be deputy White House press secretary". Arkansas Times. Retrieved March 5, 2017.
  5. ^ Brantley, Max (January 19, 2017). "Sarah Huckabee Sanders to be deputy White House press secretary". Arkansas Blog. Arkansas Times. Retrieved March 27, 2017.
  6. ^ Gutierrez, Lisa (May 11, 2017). "Nine things to know about Sarah Huckabee Sanders, deputy White House press secretary". The Kansas City Star. Retrieved May 17, 2017.
  7. ^ Colson, Margaret (September 11, 2017). "Sarah Huckabee Sanders: From Ouachita to the White House". Retrieved May 4, 2018.
  8. ^ Schallhorn, Kaitlyn (May 12, 2017). "Who is Sarah Huckabee Sanders? How her family prepped her for the White House briefing room". Fox News. Retrieved May 16, 2017.
  9. ^ a b c Lemire, Jonathan; Lucey, Catherine (July 22, 2017). "For Sanders, Path to Trump Press Secretary Began in Arkansas". Associated Press. New York City. Archived from the original on September 22, 2017. Retrieved July 22, 2017. Arkansas-raised, Sanders is married to a Republican consultant and moved her young family to Washington to be part of the administration.
  10. ^ a b c d "Team". Tallahassee, Florida: Tsamoutales Strategies. May 26, 2015. Archived from the original on May 26, 2015. Retrieved July 22, 2017.
  11. ^ a b "About Us: Sarah Huckabee Sanders". Little Rock, Arkansas: Second Street Strategies. September 13, 2016. Archived from the original on September 13, 2016. Retrieved July 22, 2017.
  12. ^ "Services: Campaigns". Second Street Strategies. Archived from the original on September 13, 2016. Retrieved September 19, 2017.
  13. ^ "Huckabee's daughter joins Trump team; Rubio to campaign with Hutchinson". arkansasnews.com/. February 25, 2016. Retrieved February 3, 2017.
  14. ^ "Sarah Huckabee Sanders joining Trump's communications staff". The Hill. September 4, 2016. Retrieved February 3, 2017.
  15. ^ Fabian, Jordan (May 5, 2017). "Huckabee Sanders pinch hits for Spicer at White House". The Hill. Retrieved May 6, 2017.
  16. ^ Hickey, Jennifer G. (May 12, 2017). "Is Sarah Huckabee Sanders 'auditioning' for bigger White House role?". Fox News. Retrieved May 12, 2017.
  17. ^ Hensch, Mark (May 12, 2017). "Huckabee: Daughter 'has no desire' to take Spicer's job". The Hill. Retrieved May 14, 2017.
  18. ^ Easley, Jonathan (May 27, 2017). "White House considering vetting Trump's tweets". The Hill. Retrieved May 27, 2017.
  19. ^ Pappas, Alex (July 21, 2017). "Sarah Huckabee Sanders replaces Spicer as White House press secretary". Fox News. Retrieved July 21, 2017.
  20. ^ Shabab, Rebecca (February 5, 2018). "Emails indicate James Comey was well-liked by FBI staffers". CBS News. Retrieved June 15, 2018.
  21. ^ "Sarah Sanders challenged on pre-election tweet". CNN. Retrieved June 15, 2018.
  22. ^ Wyrich, Andrew. "Old Sarah Huckabee Sanders tweet about 'attacking FBI' goes viral after Trump's tweetstorm". The Daily Dot. Retrieved June 15, 2018.
  23. ^ Palmeri, Tara. "Sarah Sanders: 'The president is not a liar'". Politico. Retrieved June 15, 2018.
  24. ^ Grynbaum, Michael M. (June 27, 2017). "A Costly Retraction for CNN and an Opening for Trump". The New York Times. Retrieved June 28, 2017.
  25. ^ Blake, Aaron (June 27, 2017). "Sarah Huckabee Sanders lambastes fake news — and then promotes a journalist accused of deceptive videos". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 28, 2017.
  26. ^ "The Latest: Sanders attacks CNN, media in briefing". Associated Press. June 27, 2017. Retrieved June 28, 2017.
  27. ^ Jacobson, Louis; Tobias, Manuela (July 5, 2017). "Has Donald Trump never 'promoted or encouraged violence,' as Sarah Huckabee Sanders said?". Politifact. Retrieved June 6, 2018.
  28. ^ Diamond, Jeremy; Collins, Kaitlan; Zeleny, Jeff; Bash, Dana (July 21, 2017). "Sean Spicer, White House press secretary, resigns". CNN. Retrieved July 21, 2017.
  29. ^ "How Statements on Trump and Trump Tower Meeting Changed". Associated Press. Retrieved June 6, 2018.
  30. ^ Fabian, Jordan (June 4, 2018). "Sanders dodges questions about Trump Tower statement". The Hill. Retrieved June 6, 2018.
  31. ^ Cummings, William. "'I'm an honest person,' defensive Sarah Sanders says when grilled about credibility". USA Today. Retrieved June 6, 2018.
  32. ^ Borchers, Callum. "Sarah Huckabee Sanders pleads ignorance as the Rob Porter mess worsens". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 15, 2018.
  33. ^ Mangan, Dan; Breuninger, Kevin. "FBI director contradicts White House timeline on Rob Porter abuse probe, says agency finished background check last summer". CNBC. Retrieved June 15, 2018.
  34. ^ Coaston, Jane (February 8, 2018). "The White House press office changed its story on Rob Porter 3 times in one day". Vox. Retrieved June 15, 2018.
  35. ^ Fredericks, Bob (May 3, 2018). "Sanders: I didn't know about Trump's 'hush money' payment". New York Post. Retrieved June 15, 2018.
  36. ^ Higgins, Tucker. "White House on separating migrant children from parents: 'It's very biblical to enforce the law'". CNBC. Retrieved June 15, 2018.
  37. ^ Bendery, Jennifer (June 15, 2018). "Christian Leaders To Jeff Sessions: The Bible Does Not Justify Separating Families". Huffington Post. Retrieved June 16, 2018.
  38. ^ Thomsen, Jacqueline (July 18, 2018). "White House says Trump to discuss allowing Russia to question US citizens". The Hill. Retrieved 2018-07-19.
  39. ^ Mueller, Eleanor (July 18, 2018). "White House: Trump will consider letting Russia question investor, former ambassador". Politico. Retrieved July 19, 2018.
  40. ^ "Outrage erupts over Trump-Putin 'conversation' about letting Russia interrogate ex-U.S. diplomat Michael McFaul". Washington Post. Retrieved 2018-07-19.
  41. ^ "Putin Asked Trump to Let Russia Question McFaul, White House Says". Bloomberg.com. Retrieved 2018-07-19.
  42. ^ staff, Guardian; agencies (July 19, 2018). "'Absurd, crazy': Trump discussed allowing Putin to interrogate US ambassador". The Guardian. Retrieved July 19, 2018.
  43. ^ Breuninger, Kevin; Wilkie, Christina (July 18, 2018). "Russia's claims about Americans it seeks to question are 'absurd,' says State Department". CNBC. Retrieved July 19, 2018.
  44. ^ Ackerman, Spencer (July 18, 2018). "U.S. Officials 'at a Fucking Loss' Over Latest Russia Sellout". The Daily Beast. Retrieved July 19, 2018.
  45. ^ "Sarah Sanders refuses to say press is not 'enemy of the people'". The Independent. Retrieved 2018-08-02.
  46. ^ a b "White House drafts more clearance cancellations demanded by Trump". Washington Post. Retrieved 2018-08-18.
  47. ^ a b Wise, Justin (2018-08-17). "Trump aides discussed using security clearance revocations to distract from negative stories: report". TheHill. Retrieved 2018-08-18.
  48. ^ Sanders, Sarah (September 6, 2018). "For those of you asking for the identity of the anonymous coward". @PressSec on Twitter. Archived from the original on September 17, 2018.
  49. ^ a b Williams, Paige (September 24, 2018). "Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Trump's Battering Ram". The New Yorker. Archived from the original on September 20, 2018. Print edition title: "The Mouthpiece".
  50. ^ Stelter, Brian (November 8, 2018). "Reporters condemn White House decision to bar CNN's Acosta". CNN Business. Retrieved November 11, 2018.
  51. ^ https://www.dailydot.com/layer8/sarah-sanders-jim-acosta-infowars
  52. ^ "White House shares doctored video to support punishment of journalist Jim Acosta". The Washington Post.
  53. ^ Harwell, Drew (November 9, 2018). "White House shares doctored video to support punishment of journalist Jim Acosta". MSN. Retrieved November 11, 2018.
  54. ^ "40 Under 40". October 14, 2010. Retrieved March 27, 2017 – via content.time.com.
  55. ^ "Sarah Huckabee Sanders Sketches". NBC. Retrieved July 21, 2017.
  56. ^ Blake, Aaron (November 5, 2017). "SNL gives Sarah Huckabee Sanders the Sean Spicer treatment". The Washington Post.
  57. ^ Bacle, Ariana (November 5, 2017). "Aidy Bryant's Sarah Huckabee Sanders channels Demi Lovato on SNL". Entertainment Weekly.
  58. ^ Gibbs, Constance (May 10, 2017). "9 facts about deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders". New York Daily News. New York City. Retrieved July 22, 2017.
  59. ^ Klein, Betsy (July 27, 2017). "The spokeswomen: A low-key milestone as Sanders becomes White House press secretary". CNN.
  60. ^ Selk, Avi; Murray, Sarah (June 25, 2018). "The owner of the Red Hen explains why she asked Sarah Huckabee Sanders to leave". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on July 4, 2018.
  61. ^ Gstalter, Morgan (June 23, 2018). "Ex-White House ethics chief: Sarah Sanders tweet violates ethics laws". The Hill. Retrieved June 24, 2018.

External links

  • Official Twitter
  • Personal Twitter
  • Appearances on C-SPAN
  • White House Website – Press Briefings
  • YouTube – White House Press Briefings
Political offices
Preceded by
Sean Spicer
White House Press Secretary
2017–present
Incumbent
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