White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders appeared on NBC’s “Today” show Monday morning to discuss the key findings of Special Counsel Robert Mueller‘s report, as interpreted in a four-page summary by President Donald Trump‘s hand-picked Attorney General.
NBC’s “Today” show host Savannah Guthrie confronted White Houe press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Monday morning over her mischaracterization of Special Counsel Robert Mueller‘s findings summarized by Attorney General William Barr in a letter to Congress on Sunday.
Guthrie quoted from the letter, telling Sanders that Mueller’s report specifically states it “does not exonerate” President Trump on questions of obstruction of justice.
“It is a complete and total exoneration,” Huckabee Sanders falsely claimed seconds later.
“In the legal community, when you can’t convict somebody on something, you’re legally exonerating them,” Sanders falsely claimed.
On the question of obstruction of justice, Barr quoted Mueller as writing: “While this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”
“Because the Special Counsel said they couldn’t make a decision one way or the other, the way the process works is that they leave that up to the Attorney General,” she incorrectly claimed.
As Guthrie correctly noted during the interview, Barr had denounced the Mueller investigation about eight months ago when he wrote an unsolicited 19-page memo to the DOJ stating it is almost impossible for a president to obstruct justice.
Guthrie noted that Barr “took it upon himself to issue a legal conclusion,” on the Mueller report, adding that “some critics are saying, ‘Wait a minute – is this on the level? He did it in 48 hours and he wrote a memo 8 months ago in June of last year stating there wasn’t an obstruction of justice case.’”
Sanders insisted that Barr did not make a “snap judgment,” while invoking unnamed Democrats who support Barr.
“Would you acknowledge it is incorrect for the President to call this a total exoneration?” @savannahguthrie asks @PressSec Sarah Sanders about the question of if President Trump obstructed justice pic.twitter.com/I0XnGlYWCU
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) March 25, 2019