White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders is getting raked of the coals after Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report documented the fact that she blatantly lied to the media and the American people.
But while the coverage of her comments include sharp criticism — including calls for her to resign — it’s actually being more generous to Sanders than she deserves.
Mueller’s report makes clear that when Sanders told the press that “countless” FBI employees told her they were glad President Donal Trump fired Director James Comey, she was just making things up:
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.
Some press accounts are claiming that Sanders admitted that she was lying. But while the report makes clear that she was lying, Sanders never admitted to that. In fact, the only reasonable interpretation is that Sanders lied to Mueller.
Her claim about “countless members of the FBI” talking to her was not a “slip of the tongue.” A slip of the tongue is something you do by accident, unintentionally. But when you watch the video of her remarks, it is absolutely clear that she is not making a mistake. She is actively telling a lie. When she is pressed on the lie, she doubles down:
Mueller’s report said Sarah Huckabee Sanders told investigators she made comments to reporters that were “not founded on anything.” Here’s that moment 👇 pic.twitter.com/cqrnTqKDLa
— POLITICO (@politico) April 18, 2019
And as the report noted, she repeated these baseless claims again. This is not what happens when someone makes a “slip of the tongue,” like calling a friend by the wrong name or swearing when you shouldn’t.
Now, it’s important also to be clear that, while Sanders clearly lied to Mueller, and while lying to Mueller is a crime, it doesn’t follow that she should have been indicted, as some of her most vigorous critics might claim. Lies have to be demonstrable and material to the investigators to be charged. And while her lies were about a matter that was important to the investigation — Trump’s motives for firing Comey are key to the obstruction of justice investigation — the difference between Sanders making a mistake with the press and actively lying to the press do not plausibly constitute a serious enough distinction to investigators to be worth charging. Michael Cohen’s lies, which reduced the length of time the Trump Tower Moscow deal was being negotiated by about six months, by contrast, were relevant to the nature of those negotiations in ways that are material to the investigation. And it’s important for prosecutors to distinguish between egregious lies that are meant to divert the purpose of an investigation and white lies that allow one to save face without changing the bottom-line conclusion.
Nevertheless, in the public accounting of what went on during the investigation, it’s important to be forthright about what happened. Sanders not only lied to the public, but she lied to the special counsel.
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‘Ridiculous, Inflammatory and Dangerous’: Nikki Haley Blasted for ‘Categorically False’ Lie About Democrats
Former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley is under fire for attacking Democrats with lies in an attempt to defend President Donald Trump – a strategy some say she is employing to get Trump to see her as a replacement for Vice President Mike Pence on the 2020 ticket.
Monday night Haley went on Fox News to deliver what some journalists are calling “categorically false” and “ridiculous, inflammatory and dangerous” remarks.
Haley told Fox News viewers – which includes President Trump – that the “only ones mourning the loss of Soleimani are our Democrat leadership and Democrat Presidential candidates.”
And she even posted the clip of her remarks herself:
“The only ones mourning the loss of Soleimani are our Democrat leadership and Democrat Presidential candidates.” pic.twitter.com/IZJJqpxkBE
— Nikki Haley (@NikkiHaley) January 7, 2020
That is false – no one in Democratic leadership and no Democrat Presidential candidate is “mourning the loss of Soleimani.” What Democrats are disturbed by is the questionable legality of an assassination of a foreign government official, and the process by which Trump made the decision to order the killing of Soleimani – without calculating the consequences, which are now disastrously unfolding.
Many are responding, angry about Haley lying, and noting she has ruined her reputation as a moderate Republican who might have had a chance in 2024.
This kind of statement is ridiculous, inflammatory and dangerous. Rather than inform viewers, Ambassador Haley wants to divide Americans. Geez us. https://t.co/eVxbGcvRbu
— Donna Brazile (@donnabrazile) January 7, 2020
This is categorically false.
The former Governor of South Caroline, former Ambassador to the United Nations & current member of the board of directors of Boeing Corporation – on television saying something she absolutely knows is untrue https://t.co/59WS0qObfo
— Stephanie Ruhle (@SRuhle) January 7, 2020
demagogically false https://t.co/l6lVmxqo3s
— John Harwood (@JohnJHarwood) January 7, 2020
we’re used to nikki haley saying whatever needs to be said to stay relevant, but this is an absolutely face-melting take. she really says “no one else in the world” is sad about soleimani. did she miss the giant street funeral? in iran? that was not attended by democrats? pic.twitter.com/uK2dBMUj9z
— Bobby Lewis (@revrrlewis) January 7, 2020
It’s lies like these from Nikki Haley which confirm that the entire GOP is as bad as serial liar Trump. There are NO “good” Republicans. All of them have embraced Trump’s bigotry, racism, Sexism and non-stop lying. #TrumpTraitors https://t.co/ZUNbCw3x6V
— (((DeanObeidallah))) (@DeanObeidallah) January 7, 2020
Lacking any rationale for timing & location of assassination (which as been obviously terrible for US), Trump sycophants resorting to saying that anyone who questions them loves Iran. Pathetic that this is what @NikkiHaley thinks demonstrates her leadership in our time of need.
— David Rothschild (@DavMicRot) January 7, 2020
Nikki Haley was whitewashing the racism of confederate symbols in order to appease white bigots a few weeks ago, so I can’t say that I’m surprised that she’s on television making up lies about a serious situation in Iran.
Republicans all need kept from public office.
— Tony Stark 2020 💥⎊ (@1IronMan2020) January 7, 2020
Name a single Democratic candidate for president who is “mourning the loss of Soleimsnk.” Go ahead. I’ll wait.
— Parker Molloy (@ParkerMolloy) January 7, 2020
“Democrats love terrorists! Oh yeaaaah! Drink my Kool-Aid baby!” – the new Nikki Haley pic.twitter.com/DCWZGko6St
— Jeremy Newberger (@jeremynewberger) January 7, 2020
Want to know why Nikki Haley is so supportive of the administrations current reckless actions in the region?
She sits on the board of Boeing, a weapons manufacturer that will profit billions of dollars from another war in the region. https://t.co/UsTHWq1XVY
— Ahmad Alkaabi (@alkaabimi) January 7, 2020
Sad, Nikki Haley could have had influenced me to go back to the GOP, but that Party is long, long dead to me now.
— Karl_P (@kphar) January 7, 2020
Nikki Haley happy to lie in order to kill tens of thousands of Americans in a war of choice against Iran https://t.co/hk1xH5YffA
— Adam Blickstein (@AdamBlickstein) January 7, 2020
What a crazy irresponsible stupid fucking lie.
— Mikel Jollett (@Mikel_Jollett) January 7, 2020
Later, when Haley pretends not to have been part of the shameless lying of the Trump era, remember that she was.
— Will Saletan (@saletan) January 7, 2020
I’m impressed that Haley managed to leave the administration with her reputation mostly-intact and has since done her absolute best to ruin it anyway. https://t.co/v1AW8p8Q1i
— Angry Staffer (@AngrierWHStaff) January 7, 2020
‘Obvious Dishonesty’: Trump Campaign Under Fire for Falsely Accusing Top Democrat of Calling for President’s Hanging
The Trump campaign is under fire after falsely accusing a prominent Democratic Congressman of calling for the president to be hanged.
Speaking on CNN, House Majority Whip James Clyburn, Democrat of South Carolina, called for a fair trial in the Senate of President Donald Trump, following Wednesday’s historic impeachment vote. Clyburn lamented Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is acting like someone who says, “give him a fair trial and hang him,” and said what he’s looking for by not transmitting the Articles of Impeachment to the Senate is “the reverse of that.”
The Trump campaign put out a tweet with a short clip of Clyburn’s remarks and falsely accused him of calling for President Trump to be hanged.
The number 3 House Democrat, James Clyburn, just said this about President Trump:
This hatred and anger is out of control! pic.twitter.com/NPFTdbhgTH
— Trump War Room (Text TRUMP to 88022) (@TrumpWarRoom) December 19, 2019
Reporters and others quickly made clear what Congressman Clyburn had said, and are taking the Trump campaign to task.
CNBC’s John Harwood:
the flagrant, obvious dishonesty of this tweet demonstrates the weakness of Republican arguments https://t.co/GhmXL0wO91
— John Harwood (@JohnJHarwood) December 19, 2019
CNN senior media reporter Oliver Darcy:
That’s not what happened. Clyburn was making the point that he doesn’t think McConnell will run a fair trial because of the comments he’s made. Clyburn compared it to someone saying ahead of a trial, “Let’s give him a trial and hang him.” He said it’s like “the reverse of that.” https://t.co/SCg6ovGllx
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) December 19, 2019
Even a contributor to the far right wing Daily Caller agreed what Clyburn said is not what the Trump campaign claims.
The context does change it dramatically. He says what the Senate will do is the opposite of that and both are wrong.pic.twitter.com/zJZXjUkSgF
— Eddie Zipperer (@EddieZipperer) December 19, 2019
National security lawyer Bradley P. Moss:
I hope Clyburn sues a bunch of these folks for everything they’re worth.
— Bradley P. Moss (@BradMossEsq) December 19, 2019
CNN’s top political fact-checker Daniel Dale:
This tweet is not at all true. Clyburn didn’t call for Trump to be hanged; he called for a fair trial, and said McConnell’s pre-trial comments are like someone saying pre-trial that they’ll “give him a fair trial and hang him,” except from the reverse perspective. https://t.co/y9Ue78yeXp
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) December 19, 2019
Dale also blasted the “whole ecosystem that immediately picks up the campaign’s complete nonsense and amplifies it”:
There’s a whole ecosystem that immediately picks up the campaign’s complete nonsense and amplifies it to millions of people. pic.twitter.com/N3ncNOBgxy
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) December 19, 2019
More from the nonsense ecosystem: pic.twitter.com/sUgsSoCadV
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) December 19, 2019
Here are some more who are spreading the Trump campaign’s obvious lies, or just misrepresenting what Congressman Clyburn said:
CNN sees nothing wrong with calling for President Trump to be lynched.
Imagine how they’d react if Trump called for Clyburn to be lynched.https://t.co/wlJ8W5xVcq
— Brent Bozell (@BrentBozell) December 19, 2019
— toddstarnes (@toddstarnes) December 19, 2019
Majority Whip Clyburn just said “let’s give the President a trial, then hang him”
A leading Democrat lawmaker just called for the public execution of our President
And the media says Trump is dividing America?
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) December 19, 2019
“Let’s give him a fair trial, and hang him,” Clyburn said.https://t.co/09TFEOXpww
— The Federalist (@FDRLST) December 19, 2019
VIOLENT RHETORIC ALERT! Dem Rep. James Clyburn on Donald Trump’s impeachment: ‘Let’s give him a fair trial, and hang him’
— Twitchy Team (@TwitchyTeam) December 19, 2019
What did James Clyburn mean by "Hang him?"
For him to be a black man he should be ashamed of himself for using such a derogatory term! https://t.co/m6rkakJZP1
— Diamond and Silk® (@DiamondandSilk) December 19, 2019
Giuliani Scorched for Claiming US Constitution ‘Obligates’ Trump to Extort Ukraine to Investigate Bidens
‘Lay Off the Shrooms’
The President’s personal attorney is claiming – falsely – that the U.S. Constitution “obligates” President Donald Trump to extort Ukraine to manufacture false evidence of crimes by his top political opponent Joe Biden and the former vice president’s son Hunter Biden.
And he’s getting scorched for these false claims.
Giuliani, a former U.S. Attorney, made the false claims Friday morning on Twitter.
Presidential Legal Obligations 101:
Art 2, Sec. 3 of the US Constitution obligates the President to investigate and ask for investigations of corruption in countries we provide funds to.
Who ever heard of a president being impeached for carrying out his constitutional mandate?
— Rudy Giuliani (@RudyGiuliani) December 6, 2019
It comes as a huge shock to Democrats that @realDonaldTrump will ask for investigations concerning violations of US laws & misused hard-earned tax payer dollars.
It’s called his legal obligation under Article 2, Sec. 3 of the US Constitution. Ignored by Obama.
— Rudy Giuliani (@RudyGiuliani) December 6, 2019
Here’s what Article II, Section III of the U.S. Constitution actually says:
“He shall from time to time give to the Congress information of the state of the union, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in case of disagreement between them, with respect to the time of adjournment, he may adjourn them to such time as he shall think proper; he shall receive ambassadors and other public ministers; he shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed, and shall commission all the officers of the United States.”
There is nothing in that portion of the Constitution to support Giuliani’s claims.
Here’s how some are responding on social media:
Actually the State Dept found they had met the criteria for receiving the money. Investigating corruption is completely different than asking a foreign country to dig up dirt on a political opponent.
— Barbara Williams (@oldWVgirl) December 6, 2019
Dude, lay off the shrooms, that’s not what it says at all
— Analyst @ Surefire Intelligence (@AaronAjlen) December 6, 2019
Rudy literally just admitted yesterday that “investigate corruption” actually meant “smear Biden.” https://t.co/doSwUrVNvu
— Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGS) December 6, 2019
Giuiliani is back in Ukraine claiming the Article 2 Section 3 “take care” clause in the Constitution compels the President to investigate crime anywhere on the planet. It’s turning into a global comedy show. I think Giuliani knows it is all BS yet having fun ridiculing things.
— Lucas W🎄 (@LucasWa05792703) December 6, 2019
He’s supposed to ask it of… the United States government.
But instead, he tried to keep it secret from the United States government.
The idea that the Constitution mandates begging foreign governments to enforce our law is even dumber than you are. https://t.co/kg54mQBx18
— David Waldman-1, of Yorktown LLC™ (@KagroX) December 6, 2019
Obama Obama Obama. Obama. Obama. Obama. You’re going to jail Rudy. Tick tock.
— Baba Jessy (@mwabilimwagodi) December 6, 2019
Article 2, Section 3 empowers the president to convene Congress for a State of the Union.
Not sure what Giuliani is getting at here, besides trying to misrepresent the text of the Constitution for uninformed supporters. https://t.co/Lxf2qr621j pic.twitter.com/InvD6JoTio
— Ron Garza (@RonJohnOnline) December 6, 2019
Still lying, grifting and cheating eh Rudy? No learning curve for you!
— Zelda J Pinwheel ☂️ (@ZeldaJPinwheel) December 6, 2019
So… Shucking disclosure : Rudy Giuliani is citing a portion of the constitution incorrectly, thereby showing his utter ignorance of that document.
— Timothy Collins (@wookietim) December 6, 2019
I’m not a big city lawyer, but… that’s not what Article 2, Section 3 says. It does say POTUS must take care laws are “faithfully executed”, despite their own whims or opinions. Maybe he’s thinking of Article 2, Section 4, which calls for impeachment. https://t.co/Hcd55vfOWl pic.twitter.com/Ft5wRScqdD
— Fall is stupid. At least winter is honest (@Henke2020) December 6, 2019
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