Former Trump advisor and White House press secretary Sarah Sanders is the latest to pen her memoir about her time in the Trump Administration — and one anecdote has been particularly shocking. Sanders’ forthcoming book recounts an unsettling instance in which President Donald Trump told her to “go to North Korea and take one for the team,” after Kim Jong-un uncomfortably winked at her during a June 2018 summit in Singapore.
Initially, Sanders describes the meeting between Trump and Kim as fairly innocuous. The two leaders discussed sports, including women’s soccer. While Sanders took notes, she made eye contact with Kim and he “nodded and appeared to wink,” according to Sanders. Stunned by the exchange, she relayed the experience with Kim to Trump and then-White House chief of staff John F. Kelly. “Kim Jong-un hit on you!” Trump responded. “He did! He fucking hit on you!”
Sanders then recalls that Trump told her that she would have to take one for the team, adding, “Your husband and kids will miss you, but you’ll be a hero to your country!” Trump and Kelly laughed despite Sanders claiming she tried to explain that was not what she meant, and said: “Sir, please stop.”
Sanders wrote about the experience in her book Speaking for Myself which is set to be released next week. Her book, according to the New York Times, is meant as an acclamation to Trump by someone who has been a loyal follower. The memoir is largely a glowing retelling of her time at the White House. Still, critics immediately latched on to this uncomfortable illustration of workplace misconduct and misogyny — whether or not that was Sanders' intention.
Sarah Sanders' encounter with Kim Jong-un and Trump is unsettling for a number of reasons, but perhaps most obviously that her boss asked her to "take one for the team" in reference to a world leader potentially hitting on her, and then made a joke out of it.
Is there a lesson to learn here about workplace harassment? Not necessarily. the only lesson is one we should all already know: Everyone related to the Trump administration would be a nightmare to work with, and the sooner they're all out of jobs, the better.