According to The Hill, Sarah Huckabee Sanders acknowledged to investigators with special counsel Robert Mueller’s team that she misled reporters two years ago that many FBI agents had lost confidence in former Director James Comey leading up to his dismissal.
She made the statement on May 10, 2017, a day after Comey was fired. She said the following:
“The President, over the last several months, lost confidence in Director Comey. The 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. Accordingly, the President accepted the recommendation of his Deputy Attorney General to remove James Comey from his position.’’
Her statement was questioned by the media even then. Michael Shear of The New York Times asked if she had really spoken to countless FBI employees.
On this, Sanders said:
‘’Between like email, text messages, absolutely. Yes. We’re not going to get into a numbers game. I mean, I have heard from a large number of individuals that work at the FBI that said that they’re very happy with the president’s decision.’’
The White House Press Secretary admitted that she gave a wrong impression of the whole situation with her statements, according to the Mueller report. On this, he wrote:
‘’Sanders told this Office that her reference to hearing from countless members of the FBI’ was a slip of the tongue. She also recalled that her statement in a separate press interview that rank-and-file FBI agents had lost confidence in Corney was a comment she made in the heat of the moment that was not founded on anything.’’