CNN's Jake Tapper said that White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said one of the most shocking things he's ever heard from the White House podium while defending a statement from chief of staff John Kelly Friday.
Here's video of what she said that bothered Tapper:
Here's a transcript of the segment:
"A hot debate being fiercely discussed in Washington," Tapper explained, "where the talk about the loss of service members has taken on all the dignity of a Delta house food fight."
"In the White House," he continued, "chief of staff John Kelly remarks yesterday about the pain and experience of Gold Star families, where he also talked about the tragic loss of his son, Marine Lieutenant Robert Kelly. The former general also called out democratic congresswoman Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.) in unusually personal terms. Wilson is the one who shared with the media that the family of fallen soldier from Niger, Sergeant La David Johnson, found President Trump's condolence call to them earlier in the week 'insensitive.'"
"It's a description that Sergeant Johnson's mother tells CNN is accurate," he said. "That's how the family took it."
Kelly's critique of Rep. Wilson questioned
"Now Kelly took issue with the description of the president's call and his intentions," he continued. "He thought it was anything but respectful and he accused congresswoman Wilson of having used a 2015 dedication ceremony to honor two fallen FBI agents to instead brag about how she was instrumental in getting the funding for the new FBI building."
"How she took care of her constituents because she got the money," he added, "how she just called up President Obama and on that phone call he gave the $20 million to construct the building, that's what John Kelly said congresswoman Wilson claimed in that speech."
"Congresswoman Wilson said Kelly was lying about her," Tapper continued. "And breaking this afternoon the South Florida Sun Sentinel newspaper released the videotape of the congresswoman's remarks and it shows that Kelly's description of her remarks is simply not accurate."
Sarah Huckabee Sanders confronted with contradictory video
"When a reporter pointed out just minutes ago that Kelly had gotten his facts wrong about this speech," he told reporter Jeff Zeleny, "White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said one of the most shocking things I've ever heard from that podium."
"She suggested that journalists cannot question generals. And not to put too fine a point on it, but that's not how we do things in the United States," he said.
The comment she made came after a tense interaction with reporters about Kelly's comments.
"I think he's addressed that pretty thoroughly yesterday," she said in the video segment. "If you want to go after General Kelly, that's up to you, but I think that, if you want to get into a debate with a four-star Marine general, I think that that's something highly inappropriate."
Why is this shocking?
Tapper took to his Twitter to point out that Trump himself had questioned generals before ascending the Oval Office.
put this in the "never question retired Marine generals" file https://t.co/GH32xGAD1y— Jake Tapper (@Jake Tapper)1508525894.0
General John Allen, who I never met but spoke against me last night, failed badly in his fight against ISIS. His record = BAD #NeverHillary— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1469800411.0
another one for the "never question generals" file https://t.co/KNBZrSYUYI— Jake Tapper (@Jake Tapper)1508528315.0
How can General Martin Dempsey tell Obama that delaying the Syria bombardment will have no consequences? He is no Patton or MacArthur.— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1378237305.0
I was never a fan of Colin Powell after his weak understanding of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq = disaster. We can do much better!— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1473911941.0
But the main objection was to the insinuation that the media cannot question a general and that they should simply accept what they're told. Tapper says that's simply not how things are done in the United States.