White House Defends Changing Accounts in Comey Firing: ‘Our Story Is Consistent’

“We may have to agree to disagree,” Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders tells reporters

Sarah Huckabee Sanders was in the hot seat Thursday as an eager press corps grilled her on several discrepancies regarding the firing of FBI Director James Comey.

On Wednesday, Huckabee told reporters that President Trump dismissed Comey on the recommendations of both Attorney General Jeff Sessions and his new deputy, Rod Rosenstein. But on Thursday, the president contradicted her account, telling NBC’s Lester Holt that he would have fired Comey even without the recommendations.

“Our story is consistent,” Sanders said responding to questions from reporters about the shifting accounts coming out of the White House.

Asked whether the White House Press Office was mislead in any way or “kept in the dark” about the chain of events that lead to Comey’s firing, Sanders took a defensive tone.

“Nobody was in the dark, Jonathan,” Sanders told ABC’s Jonathan Karl. “You want to create this false narrative.”

Sanders explained that the president had already decided to fire Comey but that the recommendations “solidified” his decision.

Sanders was also asked about Thursday’s public testimony of the acting FBI director, Andrew McCabe, who said the White House’s statement that Comey had lost the confidence of the rank and file of the FBI was “not accurate.”

“I can speak to my own personal experience,” Sanders said. “I’ve heard from countless members of the FBI that are grateful and thankful for the president’s decision. And I think that we may have to agree to disagree.”

Sanders declined to say how many people she spoke to, insisting she didn’t want to “get into a numbers game.”

“I’ve heard from a large number of individuals that work at the FBI that said that they were very happy with the president’s decision,” she said. “Our story is consistent.”

Sanders also said that the president did not know that Comey had asked for more resources from McCabe just before he was fired, as was reported by the The New York Times on Wednesday.

“Based on what I’ve seen, the Department of Justice has also pushed back and said that that’s not accurate,” Sanders added.

On Wednesday, The New York Times reported that Comey made his request to Rosenstein last week. The Washington Post, CNN, The Wall Street Journal and NBC News confirmed the Times’ reporting.

Meanwhile, a separate outlet picked up on another apparent contradiction involving Huckabee. Rupert Myers of British GQ highlighted a Huckabee tweet from last November, in which she said (referencing Hillary Clinton), “When you’re attacking FBI agents because you’re under criminal investigation, you’re losing.”