Sarah Huckabee Sanders was in damage control mode on Tuesday after FBI Director Christopher Wray contradicted her claim that the White House failed to fire a staffer who was accused of domestic abuse because it had not received a final report from the bureau.
During Monday’s press briefing, Sanders insisted that the FBI’s investigation into staffer Rob Porter had been “ongoing” when the public recently learned that he had been accused of abusing two ex-wives. Porter eventually resigned, but was repeatedly defended by members of the administration like President Donald Trump and Chief of Staff John Kelly.
At a hearing on Tuesday, Wray revealed that the investigation into Porter had been completed in July and that details had been provided to the White House on multiple occasions.
“The FBI submitted a partial report on the investigation in question in March, and then a completed background investigation in late July that soon thereafter we received requests for follow-up inquiry, and we did the follow-up and provided that information in November and we administratively closed the file in January,” Wray told Senate Intelligence Committee. “Then earlier this month, we received some additional information, and we passed that on as well.”
At Tuesday’s press briefing, Sanders faced reporters demanding to know why she had seemingly misled them the day before.
“We explained the process extensively last week,” Sanders insisted.
According to the press secretary, the process within the White House “was still ongoing when Rob Porter resigned.”
“Christopher Wray said it was closed so who is telling the truth?” NBC correspondent Kristen Welker asked.
“Both,” Sanders replied, later adding: “I can only give you the best information that I have.”
“Everyday I think we can learn from the day before and strive to do better.”
Sanders was also asked why she repeated incorrect information that was provided by Chief of Staff John Kelly about Porter.
“We relay the best and most accurate information,” Sanders stated.
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