Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders isn't denying the latest bombshell about the plot to remove the deputy FBI director.
On Monday, reporting emerged that Donald Trump’s chosen FBI director, Christopher Wray, threatened to quit over Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ aggressive months-long campaign to oust FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.
On Tuesday, the White House all but confirmed the damaging story.
McCabe has been the target of an ongoing smear campaign after he corroborated details of a memo that indicates Trump’s firing of then-FBI Director James Comey was an attempt to obstruct the Russia investigation.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked about the report on Tuesday morning, and even in a friendly forum like “Fox & Friends,” she was unable to avoid essentially confirming the story.
Co-host Brian Kilmeade summarized the reporting, and asked, in unusually direct fashion, “Do you know that to be true or false?”
Sanders made no attempt to deny the story, or even to feign ignorance about it.
“Look, the president has got, as I just said, a great deal of confidence in Director Wray,” Sanders responded. “He put him there for a reason. He wants him to lead the FBI, clean up some of the problems of the past leader of the FBI, Director Comey, and I think, we have full confidence in his ability to do that, and we’re going to leave some of those big decisions to him.”
“Do you have confidence in McCabe?” Kilmeade asked.
“Look, I haven’t had that conversation,” Sanders replied, in stark contrast to her earlier response, an indication that the allegations about Wray had been discussed in the White House.
Trump and his party have relentlessly attacked the FBI in an attempt to discredit the Russia investigation that’s closing in fast, and Trump has openly called for McCabe’s ouster. But the refusal of Trump’s hand-picked successor to Comey to play along destroys the narrative Trump is trying to build.
More importantly, though, news of this attempt adds another beam to the sturdy case for obstruction of justice that Robert Mueller seems to be building.