Tweets, lies and the Mueller report: Sarah Sanders' lowest moments

Few aides have been as willing to step out in front of the world’s media and defend Trump, no matter what he has said or done

Sarah Sanders, who will leave her position as White House press secretary at the end of the month, will likely be remembered for her “contentious” or “adversarial” relationship with the press during her time in the role.

Few Trump aides have been so willing to so often step out in front of the world’s media and defend him, no matter what he had done or said. In a press conference to mark her departure, Sanders said she will continue to be “one of the most outspoken and loyal supporters of the president and his agenda”.

Here were some key moments from her time in the White House:

On allegations of Trump’s sexual misconduct

When asked by Jacqueline Alemany of CBS News in 2017 if the then 16 women who had accused Trump of sexual assault or harassment were lying, Sanders held the administration line.

“Last week, during a press conference in the Rose Garden, the president called these accusations ‘fake news,’” Alemany said. “Is the official White House position that all of these women are lying?”

“Yeah, we’ve been clear on that from the beginning, and the president’s spoken on it,” Sanders responded before moving on.

The Mueller report details Sanders’ lying

Sanders was caught lying in the special counsel Robert Mueller’s report. After Trump’s firing of the FBI director James Comey, Sanders attempted to cast the decision in a positive light, saying she had heard from “countless members of the FBI” that they had no confidence in him.

But speaking under oath to Mueller’s team she admitted that the sentiment “was not founded on anything”. However, when asked about it after the lie emerged in the Mueller report, she lied once again, saying it was a slip of the tongue, before going on to blame Democrats.

Sanders says Trump has never encouraged violence against anyone

When a member of the US Coast Guard was arrested for plotting what appeared to be acts of terrorism against Democrats and journalists earlier this year, Sanders was asked whether or not the president’s consistent framing of the media as “the enemy of the people” had contributed to a dangerous environment.

Sanders answered that the president hadn’t “done anything but condemn violence against journalists or anyone else”. The number of times Trump has called for violence, against protesters, alleged criminals and others, are numerous. Most notably, referencing Greg Gianforte’s 2017 attack on a reporter, he said “any guy who can do a body slam, he is my type!”

Defending Trump’s sharing of videos from far-right British extremists

“Whether it’s a real video, the threat is real,” Sanders said in November of 2017. “His goal is to promote strong border security and strong national security.”

She was responding to questions about Trump’s sharing of several videos from the far-right group Britain First meant to cast Muslims as violent, the authenticity of which were in doubt.

“I’m not talking about the nature of the video,” she said. “The threat is real, what the president is talking about – the need for national security and military spending – those are very real things, there’s nothing fake about that.”

Sanders is a press secretary who doesn’t hold press briefings

On the day of her announced departure, she had not held a press briefing – which were once regular occurrences – for 94 days.


Luke O'Neil

The GuardianTramp

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