Sanders Defends Trump on Needing an ID to Buy Groceries

The White House spokeswoman said you need identification to “buy beer and wine.”

Sarah Huckabee Sanders at a White House press briefing in July.Michael Brochstein via ZUMA

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White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was put in the awkward position Wednesday of explaining President Donald Trump’s bizarre assertion that people need to present photo identification to buy groceries. Trump was right, she claimed, because you need an ID to “buy beer and wine.”

Trump made the claim at a rally in Florida on Tuesday evening while defending voter ID laws, which in some states require a photo ID in order to cast a ballot. These laws have been shown to prevent poor, elderly, young, and minority people from voting. 

“We believe that only American citizens should vote in American elections, which is why the time has come for voter ID, like everything else,” Trump said Tuesday. “You know, if you go out and you want to buy groceries, you need a picture on a card, you need ID. You go out and you want to buy anything, you need ID and you need your picture. In this country, the only time you don’t need it, in many cases, is when you want to vote.” 

At Wednesday’s press briefing, Sanders defended Trump. “If you buy beer and wine, you’re certainly going to show your ID,” Sanders said, adding, “I’m pretty sure that everybody in here who’s been to a grocery store that’s purchased beer or wine has probably had to show their ID.” But Trump didn’t say anything about alcohol, and his comments were widely perceived as evidence that the billionaire has not done his own grocery shopping in a long time.

During the same briefing, Sanders was asked whether the president still believes that millions of people vote illegally in 2016—an unfounded claim Trump has made repeatedly. Sanders responded that “even if there are 10 people that are voting illegally, it shouldn’t happen.”

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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