White House Makes Reporters Give Thanks Before Asking Briefing Questions

Oliver Contreras/SIPPL Sipa USA

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Monday told reporters that before they could ask her a question, they would have to list things for which they are thankful.

“This will be our last press briefing before the Thanksgiving holiday in this room,” Sanders said at the start of the daily briefing. “So I want to share a few things that I’m thankful for and I think it would be nice for you guys to do so as well before asking your questions.”

Sanders said it is “no secret” that she is “clearly very thankful” for the White House press corps, as well as her family, faith, first responders, members of the U.S. military and “the incredible privilege of serving this president and the American people.”

“So this is how it’s going to work today, since I’m here and I get to call on you,” she said. “If you want to ask a question, I think it’s only fair, since I’ve shared what I’m thankful for, that you start off with what you’re thankful for. So anybody want to be first on what they’re thankful for?”

Sanders called on American Urban Radio Networks reporter April Ryan first.

“I’m thankful for life. I’m thankful for my children. I’m thankful for 20 years in this job,” Ryan said. “I’m thankful to be able to talk to and question you every single day.”

“I feel the gratefulness there,” Sanders replied.

“Now my question,” Ryan pressed on. “I hope you felt the passion of my thankfulness.”

Later in the briefing, another reporter offered, “I’m very thankful for you calling on me regularly.”

“I am thankful for the First Amendment,” ABC News’ Cecilia Vega added before her question.

“Ooh, yes! We’re thankful for that,” a different reporter chimed in.

Some reporters not in the Brady briefing room also made contributions.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Esme Cribb is a newswriter for TPM in New York City. She can be found on Twitter @emquiry and reached by email at esme@talkingpointsmemo.com.

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