Deputy White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Wednesday asserted without any corroboration that Hillary Clinton would have fired FBI Director James Comey “immediately” had she won the election last fall. She added, “thank God she didn’t [win].”
Huckabee Sanders, filling in for Sean Spicer at Wednesday’s press briefing, tried to defend President Trump’s decision to abruptly dismiss Comey late Tuesday — a move that caught much of Washington off guard and sparked outrage from Democrats and several key Republicans as well.
“Most of the people that are declaring war today are the very ones that were begging for Director Comey to be fired,” Huckabee Sanders said. “If Hillary Clinton had won the election, which thank God she didn’t, but if she had… she would have fired Comey immediately.”
She offered no basis for that assertion — and Clinton herself has not publicly commented.
Huckabee Sanders continued: “The very Democrats that are criticizing the president today would be dancing in the streets celebrating.”
The White House has sought to downplay the timing of Trump’s provocative removal of Comey, whose agency has been investigating allegations of collusion between his presidential campaign staff and Russians seeking to influence last fall’s election.
Huckabee Sanders said that Comey committed “atrocities” by circumventing the chain of command in his handling of the investigation into Clinton’s private email server. Clinton recently said she would have won the election if it weren’t for Comey, who notified Congress days before the election that agents had found a new cache of Clinton emails — which turned out to be nothing new, the agency concluded just days later.
“If the election had been on October 27, I would be your president,” Clinton told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour at a Women for Women event in New York last week. “I was on the way to winning until a combination of Jim Comey’s letter on October 28 and Russian WikiLeaks raised doubts in the minds of people who were inclined to vote for me and got scared off.”
Huckabee Sanders filled in because Sean Spicer is at the Pentagon through Friday to fulfill his obligations as a member of the U.S. Navy reserve. Sanders had a busy day, also appearing on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” in a segment that quickly got combative.
“You’re actually not telling the truth right now,” co-host Mika Brzezinski told Huckabee Sanders as she tried to explain a lack of evidence connecting Russia and the Trump campaign.