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White House Press Secretary Defends Press Statements

Sarah Sanders reiterated Friday (April 19) that some FBI staffers supported the President's decision to fire FBI director James Comey.

The White House press secretary told Good Morning America anchor George Stephanopoulos that her only "slip of the tongue" related to the FBI staffers who supported firing James Comey was in using the word "countless."

She was responding to various press reports — which included B&C — that she had told the investigators for Robert Mueller that her statements about hearing from "countless members of the FBI" that they had lost confidence in then-FBI director James Comey was "a slip of the tongue" and that a separate statement to the press that rank and file FBI employees had lost confidence was made "in the heat of the moment," rather than the light of accuracy, and "was not founded on anything."

Sanders to Stephanopoulos that there were "a number of former and current FBI" staffers" who agreed with the decision to fire Comey, who she called a "disgraced leaker."

Stephanopoulos pointed out she had told the special counsel, when she faced criminal penalties for not telling the truth, that the comments were not founded on anything. A fiesty Sanders responded that she had been talking about the "countless" characterization and that was not a scripted talking point like the Democrat "robots" who spend years saying there was Russian collusion.

Stephanopoulos pointed out she had repeated the "countless" characterization on separate days and occasions.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.