Flynn Told a Judge the FBI Never Tricked Him. The White House Still Says the FBI Did.

“We still firmly believe” even after a federal court hears the exact opposite.

ZUMA

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders refused to back down from remarks accusing the FBI of having “ambushed” Michael Flynn during a January 2017 interview.

Earlier on Tuesday, Flynn admitted in court to having known it was a crime to lie to the FBI—a a sharp break from his lawyers’ suggestion last week that federal investigators may have tricked him into lying.

“No, we still firmly believe,” Sanders said when asked if she wanted to revisit the accusation during a White House press briefing barely two hours later.

“What we do know that was inappropriate, by own self-admittance of James Comey, is that the FBI broke standard protocol in the way that they came in and ambushed General Flynn and in the way that they questioned him, and in the way that they encouraged him not to have White House counsel’s office present,” she continued. “We know that because James Comey told us that.”

Sanders’ decision to stand by her initial remarks, which came during an appearance on Fox News on Tuesday morning, came shortly after Flynn told a federal judge that investigators never “entrapped” him, in the same proceeding where he admitted to knowing it was a crime to lie to the FBI.

After receiving a scathing rebuke by a federal judge, Flynn’s sentencing was ultimately delayed until March.

Ahead of Flynn’s Tuesday court appearance, President Donald Trump and conservative talking heads pushed the narrative that Flynn was the victim of potential wrongdoing by the FBI. Sanders’ refusal to retract her statement on Tuesday—in spite of Flynn telling a federal judge the exact opposite—signals the president and his allies are likely to keep pushing the line.

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate