Sarah Sanders admitted to providing media baseless information about Comey: Mueller report

Saul Bowman
April 22, 2019

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders talks to reporters following a television interview with Fox News outside the White House, on January 23.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders defended her past remarks about Federal Bureau of Investigation agents' frustration with then-Director James Comey after coming under fire over revelations from special counsel Robert Mueller's report that she made misleading statements.

When former Attorney General Jeff Sessions informed Trump that a special counsel had been appointed in the Russian Federation probe, the president "slumped back in his chair" and said: "Oh my God".

On May 10, when a reporter pushed back on Sanders' claim that "the rank and file of the FBI had lost confidence in their director", and quoted an FBI special agent who said "the vast majority of the bureau is in favour of Director Comey", she said: "Look, we've heard from countless members of the FBI that say very different things". "Why can't you acknowledge that what you said then was not true?" he asked.

But in her testimony to federal investigators probing whether Trump obstructed justice, Sanders admitted that she made it up. On Friday, Sanders repeatedly avoided questions about whether the president is referred to in the indictment of his longtime associate Roger Stone.

Sanders acknowledged to Mueller's office that her comments about Federal Bureau of Investigation agents losing faith in Comey were "not founded on anything", according to Mueller's redacted report that was released to Congress and the public for the first time Thursday.

Those specific claims were that "countless members of the FBI" had lost confidence in former FBI Director James Comey. And that's just myself. "That was the information I was given at the time and I stated it to the public", Sanders said. "You repeated it on separate days, on separate occasions, and this was not the only instance the special counsel reported", Stephanopoulos continued.

"Between, like, email, text messages, absolutely". As described in Volume I, the evidence uncovered in the investigation did not establish that the President or those close to him were involved in the charged Russian computer-hacking or the active-measure conspiracies, or that the President otherwise had an unlawful relationship with any Russian official. The evidence does not establish that the termination of Comey was created to cover up a conspiracy between the Trump Campaign and Russian Federation.

"Sarah, that's just not what happened", Stephanopoulos said.

Following the revelations regarding Sanders' admissions to Mueller's team, GLAAD called on her to immediately resign.

Sean Spicer, who was serving as White House press secretary in May 2017, told reporters that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein had made the decision to fire Comey.

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