The White House held its first press conference since President Donald Trump laid into Steve Bannon for comments in a new book about Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with Russian officials being “treasonous” on Wednesday afternoon.
Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, however, was not at all interested in answering questions about Bannon’s comments or Trump’s fiery response, in which he said Bannon had “lost his mind.”
“This book is filled with false and misleading accounts from individuals who have no access or influence with the White House,” Sanders said.
Given that mental capabilities were on the table, NBC’s Peter Alexander asked if Americans should “be concerned about the president’s mental fitness, that he appears to be speaking so lightly about threats regarding a nuclear button.”
Sanders deflected the question about Trump’s latest Twitter attacks towards North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, in which he alluded to nuclear war.
“The president and the people of this country should be concerned about the mental fitness of the leader of North Korea,” Sanders said. “He’s made repeated threats. He’s tested missiles time and time again for years.”
Sarah Sanders: The people of this country should be concerned about the mental fitness of the leader of North Korea, not Trump’s mental fitness pic.twitter.com/tKAjNxcfAu
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) January 3, 2018
Another reporter asked if it was wise then for Trump to be taunting North Korean leader Kim Jong-un about the size of his nuclear button if he was so unstable.
“You just said that people should question the mental fitness of Kim Jong-un,” the reporter said. “So then isn’t it dangerous for the president to be taunting him on Twitter?”
Sanders said she didn’t think Trump’s needling of Jong-un on Twitter — calling the dictator of the dangerous pariah state “little rocket man” — was taunting.
“I don’t think it is taunting to stand up for the people of this country,” Sanders said.
Reporter: “You just said that people should question the mental fitness of Kim Jong-un. So then isn’t it dangerous for the president to be taunting him on Twitter?”@PressSec: “I don’t think it is taunting to stand up for the people of this country.” https://t.co/PjMdoDKnOP pic.twitter.com/sCYvj7VDwG
— CBS News (@CBSNews) January 3, 2018