White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Tuesday that she can’t guarantee a recording doesn’t exist of President Donald Trump using the “n-word,” as former White House staffer Omarosa Manigault Newman has claimed in her publicity tour for a new book covering her time in the administration.
Sanders said she’d never asked Trump if he’d used the word, and pointed reporters to the President’s tweet claiming “I don’t have that word in my vocabulary.”
“Can you stand at the podium and guarantee the American people they will never hear Donald Trump utter the n-word on a recording in any context?” MSNBC’s Kristin Welker asked.
“I can’t guarantee anything, but I can tell you that the President addressed this question directly,” Sanders said. “I can tell you that I’ve never heard it.”
She continued: “I can also tell you that if myself or the people that are in this building serving this country every single day, doing our very best to help people all across this country and make it better, if at any point we felt that the president was who some of his critics claim him to be, we certainly wouldn’t be here.”
Sanders then incorrectly claimed Trump had created more than three times the number of jobs held by African Americans in his first 18 months than Obama did in eight years.
“This President, since he took office, in the year-and-a-half that he’s been here, has created 700,000 new jobs for African Americans,” Sanders said. “That’s 700,000 African Americans that are working now that weren’t working when this President took place. When President Obama left, after eight years — eight years in office — he had only created 195,000 jobs for African Americans.”
Let alone the White House’s repeated — and unsubstantiated — claim that African American unemployment is at its lowest in history (it’s only been calculated as such since 1972), and that presidents in general can’t be directly credited with creating jobs. Even with those caveats, Sanders’ employment claim was simply wrong.
Only hours later did Sanders address the error: She meant to compare African American employment numbers in a comparable time period after Obama’s election (after a year of a historic recession) and after Trump’s election, it appeared.
Sanders never responded to TPM’s questions regarding the incorrect claim.
— CEA (@WhiteHouseCEA) August 14, 2018
Correction from today’s briefing: Jobs numbers for Pres Trump and Pres Obama were correct, but the time frame for Pres Obama wasn’t. I’m sorry for the mistake, but no apologies for the 700,000 jobs for African Americans created under President Trump https://t.co/EXGvbliwlS
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) August 15, 2018
This post has been updated.
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