Huckabee Sanders Trashes Flake Over Senate Speech: He's 'Looking for Attention'

January 17, 2018

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders thrashed Sen. Jeff Flake (R., Ariz.) for his Senate speech Wednesday decrying President Donald Trump's attacks on the media as Stalinist, saying Flake was "looking for attention" and questioning the administration's commitment to press freedom was "utterly ridiculous."

Flake took to the Senate floor to rip into Trump for his repeated attacks on the media as "fake news," saying Trump pushes "pernicious fantasies."

Flake, who announced last year he would not run for re-election in 2018 due to the present political climate, said, "An American president who cannot take criticism, who must constantly deflect and distort and distract, who must find someone else to blame is charting a very dangerous path."

Sanders ripped Flake for his recent Cuba visit in her response. Flake said earlier this month there was no evidence of "sonic attacks" in the mysterious ailments that befell U.S. diplomats in Havana last year.

"I found it quite interesting that he is coming out to attack this president, considering he's one that was recently defending an actually oppressive regime. He went to Cuba a few weeks ago and served as a mouthpiece for the oppressive Cuban government," she said.

"He's not criticizing the president because he's against oppression. He's criticizing the president because he has terrible poll numbers, and he is, I think, looking for some attention," she added. "I think it's unfortunate, and certainly, I think our position here at the White House is that we welcome access to the media every day. I'm standing right here taking questions. The president does so regularly, and to act as if we're anything but open to that back-and-forth exchange is utterly ridiculous."