Earlier today, Prime Minister Theresa May announced that the British government believes that Russia was either behind the gas attack on a former Russian spy and his daughter, or else lost control of the nerve agent that was used on them. Either way, it's a bit of a sticky wicket for Russia, who denies any involvement whatsoever.
During the press briefing today, Sarah Sanders was asked about it and she absolutely refused to let the name Russia cross her lips while insisting the United States stands with the U.K.
When Sanders was asked if our government shared that assessment and whether there will be any repercussions as a consequence of them using a weapon of mass destruction on a spy and his daughter, she read a prepared statement.
"We've been monitoring the incident closely and take it seriously," she read. "The use of a highly lethal nerve agent on U.K. soil is an outrage. The attack was reckless and indiscriminate and irresponsible. We offer the fullest condemnation and extend our sympathy to the victims and their families and our support to the U.K. government. We stand by our closest ally in the special relationship that we have."
As usual, the reporter pressed for specificity, and Sanders demurred.
"You are not saying that Russia was behind this now?"
"Right now, we are standing with our U.K. ally. They are still working through even some of the details of that. and we're going to continue to work with the U.K. and we certainly stand with them throughout this process."
One last try. "Theresa May was either -- said Russia was using it themselves or given the chemical weapons to a person to -- given highly unlikely the nature of this --"
Sarah spat back the same canned answer at him again. Never did the name "Russia" cross her lips, even though it's fairly obvious it was in fact either Russia directly or indirectly.
Given that Donald Trump won't even impose the sanctions passed by a nearly-unanimous Congress in this country, perhaps he doesn't support imposition of sanctions by the U.K.?
Or maybe he has stand-down orders from puppet-master Vlad.