An entire 48 hours after the fact, President Donald Trump’s lackluster Twitter defense of Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders after she was booted from the Red Hen restaurant is the tip of a much larger dissatisfaction iceberg, according to a Monday New York Times report.
In the tweet, he called her a “fine person,” choosing to focus on maligning the cleanliness of the restaurant, which actually shines in comparison to the myriad health code violations his own establishments have faced.
The lukewarm response is a public display of private conversations and musings the President has reportedly been entertaining lately as he questions his press secretary’s toughness. Per the New York Times, ever since she did not walk out during comedian Michelle Wolf’s roast at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, Trump has sustained doubts about her strength.
Those qualms have only intensified lately, as Trump has reportedly been asking around for people’s opinion of Sanders, a classic sign of his growing discontent with a staffer. He has also been threatening to “grade” her performances at the daily White House press briefings from now on, though some sources told the New York Times that he made the threat in jest.
The fickle President’s mercurial emotions are reportedly adding to a sense of unease in the White House, an atmosphere heightened by the recent string of public confrontations of Trump administration staffers, including Sanders.