Trump's Rhetorical Cleanup Crew

When President Trump says something... controversial, he has a crack team of staffers to clean up his mess.

Cleaning up the controversies

After President Trump suggested having “second thoughts” about his ongoing trade-war with China Economic Adviser Larry Kudlow appeared on CNN to clarify. “He didn’t exactly hear the question. Actually, what he was intending to say is he always has second thoughts.” It’s a classic case of Trump’s rhetorical cleanup crew.

In an interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper, Donald Trump talked about his plan to build a wall and said he will remove all of "the bad dudes" when he takes office. White House press secretary Sean Spicer attempted to clarify an ominous phrase used by President Donald Trump on Thursday — but his answer left people scratching their heads instead. When asked what Trump meant, Spicer said Trump was using the word "military" as an adjective, adding that Trump meant his orders would be carried out "in a very streamlined and efficient manner."

In July 2017, President Donald Trump seemed to encourage police to be more violent in handling potential offenders during a speech to law enforcement officers. "Please don't be too nice," he said to the audience in Long Island, New York. The U.S. press asked Sarah Huckabee Sanders if the president was joking when he said this or did he check his remarks out with the International Association of Police Chiefs or maybe the Attorney General? The former White House Press Secretary replied, “I believe he was making a joke at the time.” On a separate occasion she deflected the question - What did the president mean when he said that some immigrants are not people, they’re animals? She countered with, “the president was very clearly referring to MS-13 gang members who enter the country illegally.”

Even the vice president has had to appear on Today to walk back the president's comments on the border wall. “We’re talking about national security. This should’ve been done by all of the presidents that preceded me and they all know it. Some of them have told me.” Pence defended the President with “I know I’ve seen clips of previous presidents talking about the importance of border security.”

Lastly, Dan Coats, who often clashed with Trump over Russian election interference was used to sidestep Russian collusion questioning. “Dan Coates came to me, and some others, they said they think it’s Russia. I have President Putin, he just said it’s not Russia. I will say this: I don’t see any reason why it would be.” Then quickly backtracking with – “I said the word “would” instead of “wouldn’t.” The sentence should have been “I don’t see any reason why I wouldn’t — or why it wouldn’t be Russians.” So, just to repeat it. I said the word “would” instead of “wouldn’t.”