White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has been in damage control mode since Thursday, when special counsel Robert Mueller’s report suggested she’d lied about “countless” members of the FBI supporting the ouster of former Director James Comey.
According to the Mueller report, Sanders told investigators that her remark about Comey was a “slip of the tongue” and that her claim he’d lost the confidence of “rank-and-file” FBI employees was baseless.
But when she turned up the next day on “Good Morning America,” George Stephanopolous grilled her relentlessly for the comments she made at two White House press conferences in May 2017, directly after Comey’s firing.
“That’s not a slip of the tongue, Sarah,” Stephanopoulos said. “That’s a deliberate, false statement.”
Still, Sanders argued that “there were a number of FBI ― both former and current ― that agreed with the president’s decision.”
“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,” Stephanopoulos shot back. “Why can’t you acknowledge that what you said then was not true?”
Sanders insisted her “slip of the tongue” statement referenced only her use of the word “countless,” adding, “I’m sorry that I wasn’t a robot like the Democrat Party.”
The special counsel team investigated Comey’s dismissal to see whether it amounted to obstruction of justice. While investigators found that President Donald Trump had attempted to “protect himself from an investigation into his campaign,” it notes that “the evidence does not establish that the termination of Comey was designed to cover up a conspiracy between the Trump Campaign and Russia.”
Watch Sanders’ “Hannity” and “Good Morning America” interviews below.