White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders spoke on everything from Roseanne Barr to the FBI during Wednesday’s press briefing, but it was a question by a child reporter named Benje Choucroun that rattled her most.
“At my school, we recently had a lockdown drill,” said Benje, 13, when Sanders called on him. “One thing that affects my and other students’ mental health is the worry about the fact that we or our friends could be shot at school. Specifically, can you tell me what the administration has done and will do to prevent these senseless tragedies?”
Sanders responded 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,” a visibly emotional Sanders went on. “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.”
The White House did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment on the question, but according to a report in USA Today, Benje is from California, and is in Washington, D.C., covering a sports event for Time for Kids magazine.
Many on social media had a lot to say about the exchange, particularly about the poignancy of the question and Sanders’ emotional response:
Need to have more kids attend and ask questions at the WH Daily Press Briefing. Today's young journalist almost brought @PressSec to tears when he said he & his friends don't feel safe in school b/c of the shootings & asked what the Admin's plan is to make kids & schools safe.
— Laura F T (@LauraTripp57) May 30, 2018
A kid at the WH briefing asked @PressSec what the Trump administration is doing to protect schools from shootings. She got a bit choked up, but then, of course, didn't answer the question. pic.twitter.com/mk709Nullr
— Zack Ford (@ZackFord) May 30, 2018
— Gillian Brockell (@gbrockell) May 30, 2018
You could hear @PressSec choking up trying to answer a child’s question to his face.
— Quinn Vega Rivera (@_Omegathree) May 30, 2018
— Brian Riccio (@Trumpwatching1) May 30, 2018
Benje is already garnering much praise on social media, which is surely good for his burgeoning YouTube page, which features the young journalist talking about everything from the National Rifle Association to the weather.
Thanks for asking the tough questions, Benje.