Published: Tue, September 26, 2017
Sport | By Wilson Duncan

White House defends president's comments on NFL players

White House defends president's comments on NFL players

"If they are upset about police brutality", she said of the players, then they should "protest the officers on the field that are protecting them instead of the American flag".

The statement created backlash. They say they are protesting racial injustices.

"No, I don't", Sanders said when asked if Trump's consistent tweeting was lessening his attention on the agenda.

He stopped to speak to reporters about it yesterday, as well, as he prepared to make the journey from his weekend estate to the White House. This has nothing to do with race or anything else. Sanders read out an opinion piece former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey wrote in 2016, although she said it was from "this morning". You're the president of the greatest country on earth but yet your (sic) acting and speaking like a child.

'A lot has been communicated over these last several weeks, through this process, through this protest by these players, ' she said.

One reporter wondered if Trump thinks some of the people kneeling during the anthem at games were "very fine people" - as he has called some who marched with white supremacists in Charlottesville - or if he thinks they're all "sons of bitches".

She subsequently explained that remark: "I was kind of pointing out the hypocrisy", she said.

Asked why Trump tweeted more than a dozen times on Saturday and Sunday about the football controversy and not at all about a post-hurricane humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico, Sanders said the president was "not emphasizing sports - you're missing the entire goal on the message".

"No, no that's not what I'm saying".

The president has been immensely supportive of law enforcement.

"I think that it's always appropriate for the President of the United States to defend our flag, to defend our national anthem, and to defend the men and women who fought and died to defend it", Sanders replied, repeating the same talking points, but with "defend" instead of "honor". At an event earlier this year with police he generated controversy when he told officers they could "rough" up people they knew to be criminals.

Sanders said that Trump "isn't being against anyone".

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