13:50 GMT +313 December 2019
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    White House deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders talks to the media during the daily press briefing at the White House in Washington

    ‘Lifetime Achievement Oscar for Lying:’ TV Anchor Slams Sarah Huckabee Sanders

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    The White House spokeswoman is under fire over a 2017 "slip of the tongue", unearthed thanks to the recently-published Mueller Report on alleged Trump collusion with Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign.

    Former ABC News anchor Sam Donaldson blasted White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Friday, claiming that she has frequently been dishonest with reporters during press briefings.

    Speaking to CNN, Donaldson said Sanders' record of improperly presented information has earned her a "lifetime achievement Oscar for lying".

    "She's had a lifetime achievement Oscar for lying", Donaldson said. "Let's face it. I don't know her. I feel a little sorry for her because it's the boss who does it. She takes the cue from him".

    "Except for Ron Ziegler, who lied for [former President] Richard Nixon, I've never seen anything like this with Sarah Sanders", Donaldson said, referring to Nixon's spokesman between 1969-1974. "And there's a difference. Ziegler lied about one thing […] Sarah Sanders simply lies about everything".

    Earlier this month, Sanders caught flak after she defended her 2017 statement regarding former FBI Director James Comey, in which she stated that the FBI boss had lost support within the FBI, which was promptly contradicted by acting FBI director Anrew McCabe, who, during his testimony before the Senate, said that Comey enjoyed "broad support within the FBI and still does to this day".

    When asked about the discrepancy by reporters, Sanders said she heard from "countless" FBI agents that they were "grateful and thankful" for Trump's decision to fire Comey.

    The 2017 statement was outlined in the recently-published report by US Special Counsel Robert Mueller on Trump's alleged collusion with Russia, forcing Sanders to once more defend her remark.

    On 19 April, she defended the comment, admitting that the word "countless" was a slip of tongue and came out "in the heat of the moment".

    "I've acknowledged that the word ‘countless' was a slip of the tongue but it's no secret that a number of FBI agents, both current and former, agreed with the president's decision," she said talking to CBS. "Let's not forget that James Comey was a disgraced leaker and used authorization to spy on the Trump campaign despite [that] there was no evidence of collusion".

    "[He] undermined the agency that he was supposed to be in charge of and leading", she said.

    Last Friday, April Ryan, White House correspondent and Washington bureau chief for American Urban Radio Networks, also accused Sanders of lying and called for her to be fired.

    "She lied", Ryan said, according to The Washington Post. "She out and out lied and the people, the American people, can't trust her. They can't trust what's said from the president's mouthpiece, spokesperson, from the people's house. Therefore, she should be let go, she should be fired. End of story. When there is a lack of credibility, you have to start — and start lopping the heads off".

    On Monday, Sanders shrugged off the accusations.

    "Look, I've had reporters say a lot of things about me. They've said I should be choked, they've said I should deserve a lifetime of harassment. But I certainly never had somebody say that I should be decapitated. This takes us to a new low even for the liberal media. I think it once again proves why this journalist shouldn't be taken seriously", she told Fox News.

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    Tags:
    lying, Mueller's report, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Sarah Huckabee Sanders, James Comey, United States
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