After it was revealed that Sarah Huckabee Sanders admitted to Special Counsel Robert Mueller that she lied to reporters about the “countless members of the FBI” who had disparaging things to say about former Director James Comey, ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos grilled the White House Press Secretary this morning on Good Morning America, where she attempted to double down on her past statements.
During the segment, Stephanopoulos mentioned how Mueller’s report, although not proving “collusion,” exposed the “culture of lying” at the White House. After showing a clip of Sanders making the statements at a May 2017 press conference — and then repeating them the very next day — Stephanopoulos told her, “That’s not a slip of the tongue, Sarah, that’s a deliberate false statement.”
But Sanders had her spin at the ready.
“Actually, if you look at what I said, I said the ‘slip of the tongue’ was in using the word ‘countless,'” she replied. “But there were a number of FBI, both former current, that agreed with the president’s decision, and they’ve continued to speak out and say that and send notice to the White House of that agreement with the President’s decision.”
“James Comey was a disgraced leaker and used authorization to spy on the Trump campaign despite no evidence of collusion,” Sanders added before being interrupted by Stephanopoulos, who pointed out that she was contradicting what Mueller wrote in his report.
Pressed repeatedly on her comments on FBI agents, Sarah Sanders tells @GStephanopoulos, "It was the heat of the moment, meaning that it wasn't a scripted talking point. I'm sorry that I wasn't a robot like the Democratic Party" was about Mueller probe. https://t.co/mOQZNKl1wy pic.twitter.com/y3xcNwVYHg
— ABC News (@ABC) April 19, 2019
“Sarah, hold on a second,” Stephanopoulos said. “The Special Counsel writes that those comments were ‘not founded on anything.’ That’s what you talked to the Special Counsel about when you were facing criminal penalties if you didn’t tell the truth but now you’re trying to walk away from it. Why can’t you acknowledge that what you said then was not true?”
Sanders still stuck to her narrative.
“I said that the word I used, ‘countless,’ and also if you look in what’s in quotations from me it’s that and it was ‘in the heat of moment,’ meaning that it wasn’t a scripted talking point,” Sanders replied. “I’m sorry that I wasn’t a robot like the Democratic Party that went out for two-and-a-half years and stated time and time again that there was definitely Russian collusion between the President and his campaign, that they had evidence to show it, and that the President and his team deserve to be in jail, that he shouldn’t be office, when really they were the ones who were creating the greatest scandal in the history of our country…”
“What you did repeat time and time again was that statement,” Stephanopoulos interjected. “You said that ‘countless’ FBI officials came to you — you repeated it on separate days, on separate occasions.”
A longer version of the interview can be found at ABC News.
Featured image via screen grab