White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said during an appearance on Good Morning America Friday that her comment on Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents’ confidence loss over former FBI director James Comey in 2017 was made “in the heat of the moment.”
“I said that the word I used ‘countless’ and I also said if you look at what’s in quotations from me, it’s that, and that it was in the heat of the moment, meaning it wasn’t a scripted talking point,” Sanders said.
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
“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,” she continued.
“James Comey was a disgraced leaker and used authorization to spy on the [President Donald] Trump campaign despite there was no evidence of collusion,” Sanders said.
— Steven Portnoy (@stevenportnoy) May 10, 2017
“Well, look, we’ve heard from countless members of the FBI that say very different things,” Sanders said to CBS News reporter Steven Portnoy in 2017. “In fact, the president will be meeting with Acting Director [Andrew] McCabe later today to discuss that very thing, the morale at the FBI as well as make an offer to go directly to the FBI.”
Sanders had kept that stance during a press briefing the following day as well.
“Sanders told this Office that her reference to hearing from ‘countless members of the FBI’ was a ‘slip of the tongue,’ the Mueller report said. “She also recalled that her statement in a separate press interview that rank-and-file FBI agents had lost confidence in Comey was a comment she made ‘in the heat of the moment’ that was not founded on anything.”
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