Deputy White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders vehemently rejected the premise of a New York Times story that claimed President Donald Trump had explicitly asked for fired FBI Director James Comey’s pledge of loyalty.
In the piece, published Thursday, The Times claims that during a dinner between Trump and Comey, the president “turned the conversation to whether Mr. Comey would pledge his loyalty to him.”
“Mr. Comey declined to make that pledge,” the story read. “Instead, Mr. Comey has recounted to others, he told Mr. Trump that he would always be honest with him, but that he was not ‘reliable’ in the conventional political sense.”
The piece was based on accounts from sources close to Comey “who have heard his account of the dinner” and I’m sure received absolutely no prompting from the fired FBI director to share their story with reliably liberal New York Times.
The Times noted that “(t)he White House says this account is not correct.” In her statement to The Times, Sarah Huckabee Sanders proved that this was a massive understatement.
“We don’t believe this to be an accurate account,” Sanders said.
“The integrity of our law enforcement agencies and their leadership is of the utmost importance to President Trump. He would never even suggest the expectation of personal loyalty, only loyalty to our country and its great people.”
During a news conference earlier in the week, Sanders said leaks were one of the major reasons Comey was fired.
“I think that’s probably one of the many factors,” Sanders said in response to a question about leaks from a Breitbart reporter.
“I mean you can’t deny somebody that that wasn’t a problem, and so I think that was just another one of many reasons that he no longer had the confidence of the president or the rest of the FBI.”
Leaks, for instance, like the ones that appeared in The New York Times’ article about Comey’s dinner with Trump.
James Comey had clearly reached a point at which his control of the FBI had fully unraveled. Between sluice-gate of leaks pouring out of the bureau and his inept handling of so many investigations, it was clear that it was time for Comey to go. And how did Comey and associates handle it? By leaking more information — disputed information from a private dinner, at that.
When a man who was allegedly fired in part for problems with leaking has his associates leaking a story that claims he was fired because Trump asked him for his loyalty, which version do you believe?
The answer should be obvious.
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