The U.S. press secretary is tasked with an important job: acting as spokesperson for arguably the most powerful individual in the world, the president of the United States.
When the press secretary lies, it breaks the line of communication between the president and the American people.
Last year, following the dismissal of FBI Director James Comey, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders stated to the press that FBI personnel were relieved of his dismissal and believed that Comey was “incapable of continuing to do his job.”
A year later, Sanders admitted during the Robert Mueller investigation that she misled the media with her comments. Sanders said she didn’t talk to numerous FBI personnel and her comments were a “slip of the tongue.”
However, intentionally misstating facts isn’t just a slip of the tongue — it’s a lie. And it’s a lie that is significant because Comey was investigating possible Russian interference in the 2016 election before he was fired. Even after reporters questioned its credibility, she repeated her claim.
If Sanders indeed suffered a “slip of the tongue,” why did she not correct the facts afterward? Instead, we discovered details when the report was released.
By lying, Sanders isn’t only being dishonest to members of the media, but to the people of the United States. Therefore, she should resign.
This is not the first instance in which Sanders has been misleading. Sanders lied when she informed the media that the president sought advice for the firing of Director Comey from Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
In fact, the president had already made his mind up to fire Comey by the time the both Sessions and Rosenstein were notified.
Sanders also claimed President Trump tripled the African-American employment rate during his term compared to former President Obama’s two terms. This is false. The African-American employment rate has not tripled since Trump took office. Instead, Obama’s eight-year tenure added more jobs for the African-American community compared to President Trump’s shorter term.
These examples demonstrate that Sarah Huckabee Sanders has a credibility problem.
Sanders’ credibility eroded when the truth came to light. Until she resigns, she will further damage the integrity of her position.
Sanders’ many lies are a violation of her service to the country. Her comments show her allegiance lies with covering for the president’s actions, rather than with the truth.
We welcome an open discussion on the role of media, accuracy and political bias. The more pressing issue, first and foremost, is ensuring the press is provided with facts.
If the Trump administration is concerned with media literacy and fair coverage, it can start the discussion by excusing Sanders from her position and bring in a press secretary that understands their responsibility from day one.
The Shorthorn Editorial Board is made up of opinion editor Jacob Reyes; Editor-in-Chief Reese Oxner; associate news editor Amanda Padilla; Carmina Tiscareño, life and entertainment editor; social media editor Narda Pérez; Shay Cohen, copy editor and multimedia journalist; Zaria Turner, life and entertainment reporter; and sports reporter R.J. Coyle.