- Fox News
- Former White House press secretary Sarah Sanders claimed on Fox News Sunday that President Donald Trump “reads more than anybody I know.”
- Sanders was responding to a claim in “A Warning,” a new book by an anonymous White House staff member, that officials briefing Trump were advised by White House staff to reduce documents to simple bullet points.
- According to reports, foreign leaders have in the past briefed Trump on complex economic issues using simple charts with colorful pictures.
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Former White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders in a Fox News News discussion claimed that President Donald Trump reads more than “anybody I know” in response to new claims about the president’s reportedly limited attention span, and preference for briefing documents with pictures and bullet points.
“The idea he can only take in one or two bullets is absurd. I’ve watched him consume massive amounts of information, process it quickly, make a decision,” Sanders said in a Sunday appearance on Fox News host Steve Hilton’s show.
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) November 25, 2019
“He reads more than anybody I know. Every single foreign trip we had actually would laugh about the fact he has boxes upon boxes, file boxes where he reads for hours,” she continued.
“The rest of us want to take a break, they want to sleep, and the president works the entire time. He will spend hours on the plane reading through notes, reading through newspapers, magazines. He consumes a massive amount of information constantly.”
Sanders and fellow guests on the show were discussing “A Warning,” a new book by a White House official claiming to expose Trump’s unfitness for office, and an administration roiled by the president’s ignorance and impulsiveness.
The White House has repeatedly denied claims made in the book, and described it as a work of “fiction.”
In the book, the official writes that when Trump became president officials were advised not to present him with long briefing documents, and instead use slides to convey information.
However when the president proved unable to take in information from slides they were told to reduce the information even further – to a single bullet point.
“Come in with one main point and repeat it – over and over again, even if the president inevitably goes off on tangents – until he gets it. Just keep steering the subject back to it. ONE point,” the author claims White House officials would say.
- Reuters/Kevin Lamarque
The account echoes news reports, which have claimed that foreign leaders have used colorful cards to explain complex foreign policy issues to the president.
In July 2018, the Wall Street Journal reported that EU Commissioner Jean Claude Juncker had used colorful cue cards to brief the president on the importance of the relationship between the US and the EU. While in June, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe used a colorful chart to explain Japanese investments in the US to Trump.
Sanders claim that the president has a voracious appetite for print media – despite bashing the press as the “enemy of the people” – was backed by a Politico report earlier in the year, which claimed the president has a box of press coverage delivered to him every morning by an aide.
He will scan publications for mentions of himself and his officials, and when a clipping meets his approval will reportedly scrawl a congratulatory note on it and send it to the official in question.
Sanders stepped down as press secretary in June. In the role, she took a combative attitude to defending the president, and faced criticism for her distortion of the facts.