White House deputy press secretary Sarah Sanders on Thursday denied that members of President Donald Trump’s administration were left in the dark about the timing of Trump’s decision to fire James Comey as director of the FBI.
ABC reporter Jon Karl asked Sanders during the daily White House press briefing to explain the disparity between official accounts — including Sanders’ own — regarding Comey’s termination.
Sanders said on Tuesday that Trump acted on a recommendation from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. On Wednesday, she changed that account slightly, saying that Trump had “been considering letting Director Comey go since the day he was elected.”
Trump on Thursday blew up that narrative entirely when he told NBC News’ Lester Holt that he had already decided to fire Comey “regardless of recommendation.”
Sanders told reporters on Thursday that she had not directly asked Trump about the timing of his decision when she made her previous statements.
“I’d had several conversations with him, but I didn’t ask that question directly, ‘had you already made that decision,’ I went off the information that I had when I answered your question,” she said. “I’ve since had the conversation with him.”
“Was the vice president in the dark, too?” Karl pressed.
“Nobody was in the dark, Jonathan. You want to create this false narrative,” Sanders said. “If we want to talk about contradicting statements and people who were maybe in the dark, how about the Democrats?”