Doing damage control, controversial White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has been hitting the TV networks hoping to address the elephant in the room -- the part of the Robert Mueller report that said she lied about President Donald Trump's decision to fire FBI Director James Comey.
While appearing on Fox News, Sanders said she did not intentionally make the false statements to reporters and claimed it was a slip of the tongue.
Sanders told host Sean Hannity: “I acknowledge that I had a slip of the tongue when I used the word ‘countless,’ but it’s not untrue … that a number of both current and former FBI agents agreed with the president.”
The press secretary passionately defended Trump's actions in regards to Comey and said: "James Comey was a disgraced leaker who tried to politicize and undermine the very agency he was supposed to run. Firing James Comey remains one of the best decisions that the president made.”
According to Mueller's probe, Sanders said that she made false statements about the firing, as a "slip of the tongue" and "in the heat of the moment."
Sanders told reporters at the May 10, 2017 briefing: "The president, over the last several months, lost confidence in Director Comey. The DOJ [Department of Justice] lost confidence in Director Comey. Bipartisan members of Congress made it clear that they had lost confidence in Director Comey. And most importantly, the rank and file of the FBI had lost confidence in their director."
A question from a reporter prompted this answer from Sanders who said: "We've heard from countless members of the FBI that say very different things."
While the interview with Hannity went smooth, Sanders and ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos had a heated exchange.
Stephanopoulos called out Sanders by saying: "That's not a 'slip of the tongue,' Sarah, that's a deliberate false statement."
She hit back with: "James Comey was a disgraced leaker and used authorization to spy on the Trump campaign despite no evidence of collusion. I stand by the fact, George--"
Stephanopoulos responded by: "Sarah, hold on a second. The special counsel writes that those comments were 'not founded on anything.' 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. Why can't you acknowledge that what you said then was not true?"
Did Sanders lie on this issue, yes or no?