Sarah Sanders said America should ignore the multiple federal criminal convictions in the Trump team, and instead think about everyone else around him who has so far evaded legal consequences.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders pointed to all the other Trump hires who haven't been convicted of crimes as a way to deflect from the criminal influence dominating the administration.
During the White House press briefing, NBC reporter Hallie Jackson noted that "five convicted felons are now linked to the president or his campaign" and asked, "Given that the president promised to 'hire the best people,' did he fail to live up to that promise?"
Sanders responded, "The president has employed thousands of people in his lifetime, and had incredible successes, both in business and in the public service. He's the president of the United States. I think he's doing quite well."
It is unusual and unprecedented in modern history to have this much criminality so deeply associated with a presidency in the U.S. It is unusual especially so early on in Trump's tenure. The closest parallel is Richard Nixon — and even his criminality only surfaced to the public in his second term.
So far Trump's campaign manager, national security adviser, deputy campaign manager, foreign policy adviser, and personal attorney have all been convicted of crimes.
By comparison, there were zero such charges, convictions, or pleas from either President Barack Obama's campaign or White House inner circles.
Sanders argument echoes Trump himself, who tweeted sympathetically for Paul Manafort after he was found guilty on 8 federal charges.
Most normal presidents would be embarrassed that the man who helped get him to the White House had even the whiff of corruption around him, let alone enough solid evidence that a jury would vote for conviction.
But Trump views the world through a distorted lens, and that filters down to his subordinates like Sanders.
Sanders pointing to all the people who have yet to face criminal charges does not negate Trump's horrible judgement with regards to hiring people, and more importantly, his own criminality.
They cannot escape the corruption they have created, and no disingenuous responses can distract from what they have done and continue to cover up.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.