Principal Deputy White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said today that former FBI Director James Comey committed “atrocities.”
This came as Sanders was explaining President Donald Trump’s decision to fire the FBI director. Sanders maintained that Comey was fired because of the way he handled the Hillary Clinton email case.
“Having a letter like the one that [Trump] received [from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein], and having that conversation that outlined the basic atrocities in circumventing the chain of command in the Department of Justice…any person of legal mind and authority knows what a big deal that is, particularly in the Department of Justice…” Sanders said.
When she refers to circumventing the chain of command, she’s referring to James Comey’s decision in July 2016 to hold a press conference about the Hillary Clinton email investigation, as well as his decision to send a letter to Congress in October informing them that the department was looking into new emails in the case.
Donald Trump during the campaign celebrated James Comey’s actions in the Hillary Clinton email investigation. When asked about this discrepancy, Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that there’s a difference between campaigning and being president.
“He was a candidate, not the president,” she said. “The circumstances certainly change when you become the president.”
Even as president, though, Trump has repeatedly said that he has confidence in James Comey, including as recently as last month.
“I have confidence in him,” Trump said in an interview with Fox Business in April. “We’ll see what happens. It’s going to be interesting…Don’t forget, when Jim Comey came out, he saved Hillary Clinton. People don’t realize that. He saved her life.”
And last week, on May 3rd, Spicer said during a press briefing, “The president has confidence in the director.”