Sarah Huckabee Sanders Should Clear James Comey’s Name — And Her Record — Before She’s Elected to Anything
Sarah Huckabee Sanders, former press secretary and personal attack dog for Donald Trump, recently announced her run for governor of Arkansas. Her intro video hit all the familiar notes; she’s asking for our prayers, will fight for law and order, and will oppose the “radical” Green New Deal. Despite having worked for the laziest president in history — one who rarely was dressed and out of bed before noon — she is going to “incentivize work” for the poor.
Sanders, the youngest child of former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, leaned in particularly strong to her supposed Christian roots. In one of her earliest emails to supporters, she included an image of herself with the word “Christian” emblazoned across the picture. In the image, Sanders seems to be giving the impression that she is looking toward “the cross” or “heaven” or some other spiritually significant definition.
It is great to have people of faith seek and serve in higher office. It is even better if people of faith go beyond campaigning on that faith to living it out in their daily lives. One of the most notable episodes in Sanders’ career as chief promoter of Trump’s lies was a particularly malicious lie she herself told about former FBI director James Comey. On May 10, 2017, in an effort to defend Trump’s firing of Comey the previous day, Sanders told White House reporters that “countless” FBI agents had told the White House that they had lost confidence in their director.
Though this was completely contradictory to the reports of Acting Director Andrew McCabe and numerous background sources, Sanders maintained the lie for months, reiterating that Comey’s “troops” had lost confidence in him as their leader. This was particularly hurtful to Comey giving the ignominious way he learned of his firing and the numerous reports that — despite his questionable decisions regarding the Hillary Clinton email matter — Comey was revered by his staff at all levels of the bureau.
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The truth finally emerged when — under oath during the Robert Mueller investigation — Sanders said she had no evidence that FBI employees had lost faith in Comey and the claim was merely a “slip of the tongue.” Sanders further told Mueller — under oath — that her statement that rank-and-file FBI agents had lost confidence in Comey was a comment she made ‘in the heat of the moment’ that was ‘not founded on anything.’”
In other words, it was a bald-faced lie.
Even more galling is that, after the Mueller report was released and Sanders was effectively “caught” in her lie, she doubled down. When George Stephanopoulos asked her about her “deliberate false statement” she said: “They [FBI rank-and-file] continued to speak out and said that James Comey was a disgrace, a leaker. I stand by the fact, George.”
No, she stands by the lie. The lie that she admitted under oath was a lie, was not founded on anything, was a (somehow frequently repeated) slip of the tongue.
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Candidate Sanders should be required to clear Comey’s name — and her record — once and for all. No one who seeks to hold public office should have to be under oath for the people to feel confident that they are getting the truth. Truth should be a minimum requirement for the job — and the voters should demand it of Sanders.