Former White House press secretary Sarah Sanders “would not have encouraged” Woodward interviews with Trump

Former White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said that she “would not have encouraged” the extensive interviews President Trump gave Bob Woodward for his book, “Rage,” which was based on several on-the-record conversations with the president and was published this week.

“I probably would not have encouraged that level of access to the president,” Sanders said in an interview with CBS News chief Washington correspondent Major Garrett. Woodward’s book includes revelations that the president knew the coronavirus was more severe than he publicly expressed as early as February, and that he publicly downplayed the impact of the pandemic.

Sanders spoke with Garrett for this week’s episode of “The Takeout” podcast, which airs on CBSN every Friday and Saturday night at 9 pm ET.

But she acknowledged that it could sometimes be difficult for White House staff to discourage the president from doing what he wants to do — such as speaking to Woodward — and said that “sometimes, you have to pick your battles.”

Sanders also noted that whatever the level of cooperation Mr. Trump gave Woodward — who has written books about several presidents — the White House was unlikely to be happy with the result.

“A Bob Woodward book about your presidency probably isn’t going to be one you like,” Sanders said.

Sanders also slammed other former members of the Trump administration who have criticized the president since leaving the White House, such as former national security adviser John Bolton.

“I think he is a classic case of somebody who sometimes forgot that he wasn’t the president,” Sanders said of Bolton. She added that she believed some former administration officials could become “drunk on power.”

“At the end of the day, only two people in that building were elected,” Sanders said, in reference to Mr. Trump and Vice President Pence. “I think sometimes people find that very frustrating.”

Sanders noted that she and many former employees have “maintained a great relationship” with the president.

She also discussed Mr. Trump’s campaign and said that she believed that it wasn’t possible to be a Republican and not support the president’s reelection. She praised his commitment to Republican ideals, pointing to the fact that he has filled the judiciary branch with conservative judges.

“That alone I think should give Republicans, real Republicans, a solid and good reason to support the president,” Sanders said.

It’s hard to be truly patriotic without supporting the president, she opined.

“I think if you really love what makes America special, then you wouldn’t vote for somebody who wants to take those things away,” Sanders said, referring to Republican priorities like protecting the Second Amendment.

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Sarah Sanders describes former WH colleague as a ‘foulmouthed Jew’

  • Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the former White House press secretary, describes one of her former colleagues as a “foulmouthed Jew” in her new memoir. 
  • Josh Raffel was brought on to the White House communications team by Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, and Sanders describes him as “liberal.” 
  • Sanders said she and Raffel eventually became close friends during their time working together. Raffel left the White House in 2018. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Former White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders describes one of her former colleagues as a “foulmouthed Jew” in her new memoir. 

In “Speaking for Myself: Faith Freedom, and the Fight of Our Lives Inside the Trump White House,” Sanders describes former White House communications team colleague Josh Raffel as “a liberal, aggressive, foulmouthed Jew from New York City,” according to Jewish Insider, which obtained a preview copy of the book. 

Despite being “pretty much his total opposite,” Sanders, born in Hope, Arkansas, says she grew to love Raffel during their time working together.

“He is one of the funniest people I know, intensely loyal, and probably the most talented communications strategist I’ve ever worked with,” Sanders writes. “Nobody in the White House could work a story better than Josh, and he was always one of the first colleagues I turned to for help on the toughest assignments.” 

During his time working at the White House, Raffel was the spokesperson for Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump. He left the White House in 2018, returning to his work as a senior vice president of Hiltzik Strategies and head of marketing and communications at Blumhouse Productions. 

Jewish Insider reached out to Raffel about Sanders’ book, and he described her as a “close friend.” 

In another chapter of the book, President Trump told Sanders to go to North Korea and take “one for the team” after Kim Jong Un appeared to wink at her, she said in a new memoir, according to The Guardian.

Sanders said that during a summit between Trump and Kim in Singapore in 2018, “Kim nodded and appeared to wink at me.”

“Well, Sarah, that settles it. You’re going to North Korea and taking one for the team!” Trump told her, Sanders said. “Your husband and kids will miss you, but you’ll be a hero to your country!”

Sanders served as White House Press Secretary under President Trump from 2017 to 2019. 


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