White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders is no stranger to tough questions regarding the Trump administration. But a young student reporter’s query about gun violence at Wednesday’s White House press briefing may have exceeded them all, bringing Sanders to tears.
Upon calling on “the young colleague in the back,” Sanders joked that she hoped his questions wouldn’t be “as tough as bring-your-kids-to-work-day questions,” she’d received prior. But the child journalist had something else on his mind.
“At my school, we recently had a lockdown drill,” 13-year-old Benje Choucroun from Time for Kids began. “One thing that affects my and other students’ mental health is the worry about the fact that we or our friends could get shot at school. Specifically, can you tell me what the administration has done and will do to prevent these senseless tragedies?”
Sanders initially fielded the question quickly, saying, “I think that as a kid, and certainly as a parent, there is nothing that could be more terrifying for a kid to go to school and not feel safe, so I’m sorry that you feel that way.” But by the middle of her response, she was fighting back tears.
“This administration takes it seriously, and the school safety commission that the president convened is meeting this week to discuss the best ways forward and how we can do every single thing within our power to protect kids in our schools, and to make them feel safe and make their parents feel good about dropping them off,” she said.
The Trump administration has faced widespread criticism for not enacting stricter gun legislation following multiple school shootings in 2018, including at a high school in Parkland, Fla., which sparked the March for Our Lives and #NoRA initiatives, as well as a more recent shooting at a high school in Santa Fe, Texas, on May 18.