White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Monday that, although Donald Trump doesn’t relish the idea of another shutdown, she wouldn’t take it off the table.
“I’m not going to get into the hypotheticals of taking that off the table,” Sanders said, in what is now effectively a monthly briefing rather than a daily one. The sentiment echoed the one voiced by White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney over the weekend.
The monthly briefing kicked off with an announcement from national security adviser John Bolton that the U.S. would be imposing sanctions on Venezuela in an effort to pressure President Nicolás Maduro to step down.
But honestly, by far the most pathetic and Trumpian utterance during the brief came from chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow regarding a brutal CBO assessment that the government shutdown cost the U.S. economy $3 billion.
“I won’t acknowledge any of that right now,” Kudlow responded. “You know, in a $20 trillion economy, it’s awfully hard to make even the best guesstimates of those kinds of small fractions of numbers.” (Kudlow would know a little something about “guesstimates” being tricky since the CBO also projected today that the Trump administration was wildly off about the projections they made regarding the GOP tax cut.)
But perhaps the best news regarding the briefing didn’t actually come from the briefing itself.
Not running these briefings “live” but rather monitoring them for actual news and fact checking the claims in advance is the right call here. Kudos.