Note: This article contains coarse language that may offend some readers.
The question of the day seems to be, “Is our Trump administration learning?”
The answer is “probably not” because it's the Trump administration. But at least Sarah Huckabee Sanders was slightly cautious in today's press briefing when asked by Philip Rucker of The Washington Post if Donald Trump Jr. had had any more undisclosed meetings with shady Russians peddling opposition research on Hillary Clinton during the 2016 campaign:
RUCKER: Sarah, just to follow up on that, if this sort of meeting is normal and standard practice in the campaign, do you know if there were any other meetings that either Donald Trump Jr. or other representatives of the Trump campaign had with other Russian officials or any other foreign agents?
HUCKABEE SANDERS: I don’t know…I don’t know of any other meetings with Don Jr. but I also haven’t had an extensive conversation with him.
RUCKER: Do they want to look into whether there were any others?
HUCKABEE SANDERS: I’m not sure, Phil. I’ll have to check and get back to you.
Whoa, that's not the usual miasma of condescending smirks and outraged denials we're used to hearing from the Trump team about whether they were talking to Boris and Natasha about rat-f**king Moose and Squirrel — we mean, the Clinton campaign — as this stroll down memory lane today, courtesy of MSNBC, reminded us:
In case you are keeping count, there were a minimum of three Trump insiders in that clip who have now been busted lying about meetings with Russians: Paul Manafort, Jeff Sessions, and Donald Trump Jr. Additionally, Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner has been busted for neglecting to mention at least two meetings with Russian figures during both the campaign and the transition on his security clearance application.
And, of course, there was Michael Flynn, Trump's first national security adviser, who had to resign because he had lied about contacts with Russian officials to Vice President Mike Pence.
All of this is to say that it is good for Huckabee Sanders to have been cautious and not give any absolute denials this afternoon. Just last week, her dad, former Arkansas Governor and Golem Made of Moonshine Mike Huckabee, was complaining on Fox News that he does not like it when people accuse his daughter of lying. Now Huckabee Sanders is trying to avoid having people upset her dad by not lying in the first place. Smart!
We will note, however, that Rucker asked Huckabee Sanders about Trump Jr. “or other representatives of the Trump campaign” having held undisclosed meetings with Russians. Huckabee Sanders responded by only talking about Trump Jr.
Does this mean we can look forward to further revelations of undisclosed meetings between Trump officials and Kremlin-connected Russian randos down the line? Does a bear poop in the buckwheat?
Anyway, good on Huckabee Sanders for exercising a modicum of caution today. Maybe the prosecutors will take it into account when they start handing out charges to administration officials.
Please note: This is a commentary piece. The views and opinions expressed within it are those of the author only and do not necessarily reflect the editorial opinion of IJR.