Ex-Press Secretary: Trump White House Like an 'Authoritarian Propaganda' Machine - 'And Their Primary Organ is Fox News'
Former Bill Clinton-era White House press secretary Joe Lockhart on Thursday slammed Sarah Huckabee Sanders for refusing to acknowledge she misled the American public when she claimed Donald Trump “certainly didn’t dictate” a misleading statement the president’s lawyers later admitted he did.
Wednesday, Huckabee Sanders continued to direct CNN’s Chris Cuomo’s questions about her false claim to the president’s outside counsel, despite having originally remarked on the investigation (and continuously parroting Trump’s cries of a “witch hunt”). Asked if she regrets commenting on the president’s role in that statement in the first place, Huckabee Sanders insisted, “no, I don’t.”
Lockhart said “of course” Huckabee Sanders should regret her false claim, calling hers a “remarkable statement.”
“I had that job 20 years ago and there's probably six or seven or eight men and women that have had that job since,” Lockhart said. “I never entered a public criticism of any of them, even when I disagreed with that they were doing.”
“This is very different,” he continued. “This is the kind of thing you see in authoritarian propaganda machines and their primary organ is Fox News and they will tell you every morning the sun came up in the West if that's advantageous for them. It’s Orwellian in its scope.”
Lockhart said Huckabee Sanders is “trying to have it both ways.”
“She talks about, ‘We’re walling off what the counsel is doing,’ and then she goes and attacks the independent counsel and calls it a ‘witch hunt’ in the next sentence,” Lockhart explained. “So I think ultimately it's bad for the office of the presidency for that job and bad for the country because, if you can't believe what you're being told, then you do get into a situation where you're in, you know, what people in Russia and people in authoritarian states, how they believe the news and their leaders.”