White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders caused a stir among the press on Monday in her comments about the ongoing feud between President Trump and the NFL anthem protesters. In a moment that CNN and others attempted to portray as Sanders suggesting that the anthem kneelers should “focus their protests on police officers on the sidelines” instead of the flag, Sanders highlighted the incoherence of the players’ decision to protest the “Star-Spangled Banner” in the first place.
“I think if … the debate is really for them about police brutality, they should probably protest the officers on the field who are protecting them instead of the American flag,” Sanders said.
Pressed to clarify her point, she explained to the disingenuous press that she obviously wasn’t actually urging players to protest law enforcement on the sidelines, but rather highlighting the “hypocrisy” and illogic of the anti-anthem “movement.”
“No, no that’s not what I’m saying,” she said. “I was kind of pointing out the hypocrisy of the fact that if the goal is and the message is one of police brutality, then that doesn’t seem very appropriate to protest the American flag. I’m not sure how those two things would be combined.”
She also insisted that the president’s criticism of the anthem kneelers was not motivated by him being “against” anyone, but rather “for” respecting the country and those who lay their lives on the line to defend it.