CNN political analyst April Ryan revealed Friday that the White House has expressed concerns about remarks she’d made a day earlier about press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
“The White House is very concerned. I got a call today because, you know, as I said, I’ve called her a liar, and the White House tried to explain to me what it was,” Ryan said on CNN’s “OutFront.”
The CNN analyst, who has a history of disseminating fake news on a habitual basis, continued by admonishing Sanders for a single alleged lie she once told in May of 2017. The lie was revealed in special counsel Robert Mueller’s redacted report, which was released to the public Thursday.
“A lie is a lie is a lie,” Ryan said. “She calls us fake news. She is a fake press secretary who is disseminating lies. She embellished at the very least. She lied to the press who in turn delivered that information to the American public. It’s not about us. It’s about the American public.”
“From that sacred podium to give this information that’s wrongful, to — people are not going to be able to trust her or even this administration, it’s even bigger than Sarah at this point. It’s now the president. It’s now his minions Can you trust? And the answer is no.”
Following disgraced former FBI Director James Comey’s termination in 2017 by President Donald Trump, Sanders claimed that she’d spoken to “countless” FBI agents who’d told her they had lost confidence in Comey. Mueller’s report revealed that this had been an exaggeration.
The press secretary admitted to the special counsel’s investigators that her use of the adjective “countless” had been a “slip of the tongue” made “in the heat of the moment.”
Ryan has used this single act of exaggeration to call for Sanders’ termination.
“She outright lied and the people, the American people, can’t trust her,” she said Thursday on “OutFront.” “They can’t trust what’s said from the president’s mouthpiece, spokesperson, from the people’s house. Therefore, she should be let go. She should be fired. End of story.”
“When there is a lack of credibility there, you have to start and start lopping the heads off. It’s ‘Fire Me Thursday’ or ‘Fire Me Good Friday,’ — she needs to go.”
The latter remark about “lopping the heads” provoked outrage from Sanders’ father, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. In tweets posted Friday, he accused her of “incitement to violence” and demanded she be fired. She in turn threatened to sic a mob of “my people” on him.
As for the press secretary, she’s responded to the Democrat- and media-led anger against her by arguing that members of the left have been taking the Mueller report’s findings out of context.
“Look, I’ve acknowledged that the word ‘countless’ was a slip of the tongue, but it’s no secret that a number of FBI, both current and former, agreed with the president’s decision,” she said Friday on CBS News’ “CBS This Morning.”
“Let’s not forget that James Comey was a disgraced leaker who authorized spying into the Trump campaign. He brought a tremendous amount of politicization to the FBI and undermined the own agency he was supposed to be in charge of and leading. It was one of the best decisions the president ever made to get rid of him.”
She also pushed back against the Mueller report’s declaration that Sanders’ claim about the FBI was “not founded on anything.”
“Actually those were Mueller’s words that they weren’t founded on anything,” she said. “What I said was that it was in the ‘heat of the moment’ … meaning it was not a scripted thing. It was something that I said, which is why that one word has become a big deal. But the big takeaway here is that the sentiment is 100 percent accurate.”
She wasn’t wrong. Last year retired FBI hostage rescue team counterterrorist operator James Gagliano set out to interview his former colleagues about Comey’s reign. In doing so, he discovered broad agreement about the disgraced director’s behavior both during and after his tenure.
“Comey’s arrival at FBI headquarters was originally thought to be a breath of fresh air — a man of integrity and sincerity,” Stephen Bucar, an agent who served from 1991 to 2014, said. “But now, his legacy will forever be that of one who played fast and loose with the strict rules that ensure an institution’s character remains intact and is forever respected by the American people.”
Retired FBI hostage rescue team unit chief Dave Shellenberger agreed. Comey’s biggest disgrace, he explained to Gagliano, was when he let former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton off the hook for what were otherwise clear-cut crimes.
“I wanted to believe Comey was doing the right thing, but then he stepped in front of those microphones on July 5, 2016, and uttered that infamous statement — ‘No reasonable prosecutor would bring these charges,’ and we all cringed and said, ‘Why is he announcing that?’ Hey, it wasn’t his place, and he damaged our reputation afterward by not accepting responsibility for his actions,” he said.
‘Irreparable damage to the bureau’: Former FBI agents sound off on James Comey https://t.co/TM2MCDih00
— Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) December 21, 2018
Comey’s book tour hasn’t helped his image. Following the release of his gossipy book last year, a hash of former senior FBI officials accused him of damaging the FBI’s reputation.
The evidence suggests that Sanders didn’t lie — she just told a slight exaggeration by claiming that she’d personally spoken to “countless” FBI agents about Comey. Regardless of the specific number, what remains clear is that “the sentiment is 100 percent accurate,” as she said Friday.
Yet Ryan continues to disparage Sanders as a liar. Instead of just speaking privately with her about their concerns regarding her lies, perhaps White House officials should call her out publicly.