WASHINGTON ― White House press secretary Sarah Sanders says it bugs her when people accuse of her lying to the press.
“It certainly bothers me,” she told The New York Times in a Wednesday article. “Because one of the few things you have are your integrity and reputation.”
But Sanders has told lots of lies, and it’s not hard to give examples. PolitiFact cites four times the White House press secretary gave objectively false information.
She said in a November briefing that diversity visa immigrants are not vetted (false). She said in an October briefing that Chicago, which has high rates of gun-related crimes, has the toughest gun laws in the country (pants on fire!). She claimed in July that President Donald Trump has “in no way, form or fashion has ever promoted or encouraged violence” (false), despite videos showing otherwise. In March 2017 she said “multiple news outlets” reported that when he was president, Barack Obama ordered wiretapping of Trump (false).
Some of the things Sanders has said are laughably untrue.
She insisted this month that the Trump administration is “committed to a free press” ― right after Trump hinted at stripping reporters of their credentials and claimed, once again, that mainstream news outlets critical of his presidency are “fake news.”
In May 2017, she claimed there was not “ever an attempt” to blame Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey on Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, despite a statement that week from then–press secretary Sean Spicer putting the blame squarely on Rosenstein.
In her defense, Sanders’ job sounds bananas. She has to provide accurate information given to her by a president who lies all the time. And in this White House, the level of chaos and turnover has been so high, it’s not hard to imagine that something that may be true in the morning is no longer true by that evening.
“There’s a difference between misspeaking or not knowing something than maliciously lying,” Sanders said in the Times piece.
But part of her dishonesty is in her unwillingness to acknowledge when the president has said something that just isn’t true.
When a reporter asked Sanders in October why Trump kept falsely saying that the U.S. is the highest-taxed nation in the world, she gave a hilariously nonsensical answer. In July, when Trump randomly criticized Rosenstein for being from Baltimore, even though he is from Philadelphia, Sanders couldn’t even admit that was wrong. She said Trump was making a “general statement.”
Reporters confronted Sanders earlier this month about why she falsely told them that Trump did not reimburse his lawyer, Michael Cohen, for $130,000 in hush money to adult-film star Stormy Daniels just before the November 2016 election.
“You said, on March 7, ‘There was no knowledge of any payments from the president, and he’s denied all of these allegations,’” CNN’s Jim Acosta said during the May 3 press briefing. “Were you lying to us at the time, or were you in the dark?”
Sanders said only that Trump still denies the allegations by Daniels.
“I gave you the best information that I had, and I’m going to continue to do my best to do that every single day,” she said.
As Sanders does her best to be truthful, there’s one group she has no problem calling out as liars: all 16 women who say Trump sexually assaulted them.