Sarah Sanders said her untruths over FBI were told in 'heat of moment'
The White House press secretary joined Good Morning America a day after the report was released, where she was grilled about her previous claims that “countless” members of the FBI told her they were dissatisfied with James Comey’s leadership at the agency before he was fired by Donald Trump.
The report said those comments were “not founded on anything” and that Ms Sanders told investigators they were a “slip of the tongue.”
On Friday, Ms Sanders attempted to clarify her comments in the report, telling ABC’s George Stephanoloulos, “Actually, if you look at what I said, I said the slip of the tongue was in using the word ‘countless.’”
“There were a number of FBI — both former and current — that agreed with the president’s decision,” she said.
While that may be true, it does not substantiate the claims the press secretary made in May 2017.
Ms Sanders said during a 10 May press briefing that the president “had countless conversations with members from within the FBI” and ultimately determined “the rank and file of the FBI had lost confidence in their director.”
She then told reporters the following day, “I have heard from countless members of the FBI that are grateful and thankful for the president’s decision and I think we may have to agree to disagree.”
“I can speak to my own personal experience,” she continued. When asked how many members of the FBI she spoke to, Ms Sanders replied, “We’re not going to get into a numbers game here.”
The press secretary attempted to shift the focus Friday back to Mr Comey, calling him a “disgraced leaker” and claiming he “used authorisation to spy on the Trump campaign.”
The host continued pressing Ms Sanders, asking at one point, “Why can’t you acknowledge that what you said then was not true?”
She replied that her statements were made “in the heat of the moment,” adding, “I’m sorry that I wasn’t a robot like the Democrat Party.”