White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders admitted that she made exaggerated statements to the press surrounding the firing of former FBI Director James Comey during a Thursday night interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity amid revelations from the now-pubic Mueller report.
In the interview, Sanders claimed that while comments she made at a press briefing in 2017 were not completely accurate, the essence of what she was saying was the truth:
“I acknowledged that I had a slip of the tongue when I used the word ‘countless,’ but it’s not untrue. And certainly you just echoed exactly the sentiment and the point I was making is that a number of both current and former FBI agents agreed with the president. James Comey was a disgraced leaker who tried to politicize and undermine the very agency he was supposed to run.”
She stood strong in her criticism of Comey and argued that his replacement was a good thing, saying, “Firing James Comey remains one of the best decisions that the president made.”
Watch her interview below:
Please watch Sean Hannity "ask" Sarah Sanders about her FBI lie by telling her the FBI thanks him all the time and Sanders calls her lie a slip up and she just shouldn't have used the word "countless" pic.twitter.com/H6Q00zobEv
— Andrew Lawrence (@ndrew_lawrence) April 19, 2019
According to the Mueller report, Sanders’ statement to the special counsel admitted that she stretched the truth and, in one instance, made a claim that was not based on anything factual, as IJR Blue reported:
“Sanders told this Office that her reference to hearing from ‘countless members of the FBI’ was a ‘slip of the tongue. She also recalled that her statement in a separate press interview that rank-and-file FBI agents had lost confidence in Comey was a comment she made ‘in the heat of the moment’ that was not based on anything.”
During her opening statement for that 2017 press briefing, the press secretary claimed many in the FBI had lost faith in Comey due to his actions:
“The president, over the last several months, lost confidence in Director Comey. The DOJ [Department of Justice] lost confidence in Director Comey. Bipartisan members of Congress made it clear that they had lost confidence in Director Comey. And most importantly, the rank and file of the FBI had lost confidence in their director.”
When a reporter later challenged her on FBI agents and their support for Comey, Sanders said, “Look, we’ve heard from countless members of the FBI that say very different things.”
Watch that press briefing below:
As IJR News reported, the redacted Mueller report was released on Thursday and has seemed to cause even more division of opinion.