Will State of the Union Focus On “Russia Fever”?

Democratic Party news outlets, worried about the economic progress being made under the Trump administration, are arguing that he needs to talk about Bob Mueller’s endless Russia investigation in his State of the Union speech tonight. In yesterday’s press briefing, a member of the White House press corps asked Sarah Sanders whether the president will address the Democrats’ fake Russia story tonight.

First, an earlier question:

Q: Sarah, what would you say to critics who believe that this White House and this President have had almost, sort of, a steady pressure put on the Justice Department, put on the FBI, since the President came into office on this Special Counsel investigation — whether it be conversations with Jeff Sessions’s office about recusal, whether it be about this desire for Robert Mueller to go away, and now with Andrew McCabe?

There were even reports that Rod Rosenstein was also feeling pressure from the White House. It sounds like there are multiple officials at multiple levels who are being pressured by the White House, by the President. What would you say in response to that concern?

MS. SANDERS: I would say what I’ve said probably a hundred times before and continue — will say, I’m sure, a hundred times today: that the White House has been fully cooperative, and is going to continue to be fully cooperative.

In fact, we’ve gone above and beyond many times, and certainly done everything that we could. The White House has provided over 20 witnesses and tens of thousands of pages of documents to the Special Counsel. We have done everything we can to be fully transparent, and we’re going to continue to do that throughout the process.

Q So what about this notion that the President has been applying pressure for months — steady pressure? He fired Jim Comey. He —

MS. SANDERS: The only thing that the President has applied pressure to is to make sure we get this resolved so that you guys and everyone else can focus on the things that Americans actually care about. And that is making sure everybody gets the Russia fever out of their system once and for all; that you’re all reminded once again there was no collusion; and that we can move forward to focus on things like national security, the economy, and solving the immigration crisis that we have here in our country.

Q So no obstruction of justice, nothing improper, nothing inappropriate here at all, whatsoever, from the President since he came into office when it comes to this investigation?

MS. SANDERS: No. And I think we’ve been pretty clear on that.

This is what passes for journalism in the nation’s capital: so, is the President guilty of obstruction of justice?

Now on to the State of the Union:

Q … [C]an you say, in the State of the Union Address, whether the President will mention at all this ongoing Russia probe which you said, you know, is really “Russia fever” that the country needs to get out of its system? Will he address it in any way?

MS. SANDERS: … In terms of the State of the Union, I’m not going to get ahead of the President’s address. It’s tomorrow night. I know you are all excited and will eagerly tune in, and can see, at that time exactly, what is going to be included.

Q But he doesn’t feel a need to address it?

MS. SANDERS: I think we’ve addressed it every single day that we’ve been here. It’s one of the questions you guys ask over and over and over again. In fact, we spend more time on that than we do any other topic, despite the fact that, time and time again, poll after poll says that, frankly, no one cares about this issue, and it’s certainly not the thing that keeps people up at night.

We’d love to talk about all of the things that do. And my guess is, that will be the focus of the President’s State of the Union tomorrow.

That’s my guess, too. The nice thing about the State of the Union is that the president gets to write his own speech, and doesn’t have to follow the dictates of the Democratic Party’s press.


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