Sarah Sanders defends herself against Mueller report on her past Comey claims

Sarah Sanders defends herself against Mueller report on her past Comey claims

In a tense exchange on "Good Morning America", White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders attempted to defend statements she made to the press that she later told Robert Mueller's office were a "slip of the tongue".

The following day, Sanders again addressed the White House press corps, saying that in her own experience, members of the Federal Bureau of Investigation had told her they were "grateful and thankful" for Trump's decision to fire Comey.

Following the release of Mueller's report Thursday, Sanders gave a similar defense during an interview with Fox News' Sean Hannity.

In the Mueller Report, which was released publicly on Thursday, investigators noted that Sanders admitted to making multiple false statements to reporters regarding Comey's firing, including that "countless" Federal Bureau of Investigation agents had lost confidence in Comey's ability to do his job.

"James Comey was a disgraced leaker and used authorization to spy on the Trump campaign despite no evidence of collusion", she continued.

Following the revelations regarding Sanders' admissions to Mueller's team, GLAAD called on her to immediately resign. Trump submitted written answers to written questions but refused to sit down for an interview with the special counsel. "Why can't you acknowledge that what you said then was not true?" he asked.

Mr Trump backed down and later publicly acknowledged he meant to fire Mr Comey regardless of Mr Rosenstein's memo after unnamed Justice Department officials "made clear to him" that they would "resist" the bogus justification, Mr Mueller said.

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"They were referring to Sanders" May 2017 claims that FBI members had "lost confidence in" former FBI Director James Comey. "I don't know what else I can say", Sanders said.

She added, "I'm sorry I wasn't a robot".

"When I made a decision to just do it, I said to myself, I said: 'You know, this Russian Federation thing with Trump and Russian Federation is a made-up story, it's an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should've won", Trump said. "The premier intelligence community in the world, they were hurt by a few at the top, and they're angry about it, and you said that, but explain". "That's what they wrote".

"My understanding at the time was that he hadn't dictated but that he weighed in, George", Sanders responded.

Sanders also argued that the "big question here was whether or not the Trump campaign colluded with Russian Federation - and they didn't", she said. While Attorney General William Barr found that the president's conduct didn't support charges, Mueller recounted 10 episodes of potential obstruction in his report, ultimately deciding neither to charge nor exonerate Trump.

Among those "numerous links" was a 2016 meeting between Trump campaign officials and a Russian lawyer, who said in an email that she had "official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary", as well as a meeting between then-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his long-time business partner Konstantin Kilimnik, "who the Federal Bureau of Investigation asseses to have ties to Russian intelligence", according to the report.