Home / Politics / Another day, another scapegoat: White House stops blaming FBI, starts blaming the White House

Another day, another scapegoat: White House stops blaming FBI, starts blaming the White House

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 28: White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders speaks during the daily news briefing at the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, September 28, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

During Monday’s press conference, Sarah Sanders was firm about who was to blame for not filling in the White House on Rob Porter’s sordid, violent past. 

SANDERS: Look, this is a process that doesn’t operate within the White House. It’s handled by our law enforcement and intelligence community.

The idea that the FBI had bottled up the information served as the basis for Sanders’ claims of White House ignorance. However, the timing was unfortunate, as FBI Director Christopher Wray was slated to speak in front of the Senate on Tuesday morning. That gave Democratic senators the chance to make a quick double-check on Sanders’ statement. 

WRAY: What I can tell you is that the FBI submitted a partial report on the investigation in question in March and then a completed background investigation in late July. Soon thereafter we received a request for follow up inquiry, and we did the follow-up and provided that information in November, and we administratively closed the file in January. And then earlier this month we received some additional information, and we passed that on as well.

Wray also went out of his way to state that it wasn’t the FBI who clears White House officials. Only the White House has that authority. With a complete background report on hand by July and the FBI taking a big step back, Sanders was in need of a new scapegoat. Conveniently, she found one right down the hall.

SANDERS: The White House Personnel Security Office, which is staffed by career officials, may have received information. But they had not completed their process and made a recommendation to the White House for adjudication.

“Staffed by career officials” is clearly none-too-subtle code for “overrun by deep state Clinton fans.” But again and again during her Tuesday press conference, Sanders claimed that the information was right over there, at the White House personnel office, but never “to her knowledge” made it to anyone who might have done anything about it.

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