While failing to promise the press yesterday that there would be no audio with the president using the 'N' word, Sanders used the opportunity to target Obama and claim that he only created 195,000 jobs for African Americans during his tenure as presidency.
"When President Obama left after eight years in office — eight years in office — he had only created 195,000 jobs for African Americans,“ said Sanders. "President Trump in his first year and a half has already tripled what President Obama did in eight years."
Unsurprisingly, Sanders’s statement was completely false. As the Washington Post reported, "According to official statistics, black employment in the United States increased by nearly 3 million jobs from January 2009 through January 2017. From January 2017 through July of this year, black employment has increased by about 700,000 jobs."
Huckabee Sanders then, to many people's surprise, apologized for making up statistics about Obama's job creation record while in office.
“Correction from today’s briefing: Jobs numbers for Pres Trump and Pres Obama were correct, but the time frame for Pres Obama wasn’t,” said Sanders on Twitter. “I’m sorry for the mistake, but no apologies for the 700,000 jobs for African Americans created under President Trump.”
Her tweet cited the White House Council of Economic Advisers that published new data regarding Obama and Trump's record on creating black jobs in the wake of Sanders' misstatement:
While this all seems very responsible of the White House for apologizing for making false statements, it is somewhat odd that Huckabee Sanders would use this particular instance to take back a lie. After all, this is a White House that exists purely on the basis of lies -- Trump makes so many false statements that it is almost impossible to keep up with them. From the size of his inauguration to the ever changing stories his people put out about colluding with Russia, the only thing worth noting about the Trump administration is when it decides to tell the truth.
As someone who covers the White House for a living, I have learned to assume almost everything they say is by default, not true, and should be automatically disbelieved. This doesn't mean I don't double check and verify my skepticism (journalists must always remain open minded), but experience has taught me that 99 times out of 100, they are not telling the truth.
When you look at Huckabee Sanders' track record on making false statements, it becomes immediately clear that she has absolutely no regard for reality or the truth whatsoever. Here's a selection from Politifact on false statements the press secretary has made during her brief tenure in the White House:
Huckabee Sanders is not a stupid woman and she is well aware that the man she works for is a serial liar and charlatan. She also knows that it is her job to defend him and "humanize" the president so that he appears at least somewhat presidential. Thus Huckabee Sanders does her best to seem responsible, choosing moments like this to walk back a lie and apologize for a "mistake" or "miscommunication". Of course it wasn't a mistake -- it was an outright lie she made up on the spot to detract from the questions she was being asked. But by sending out a correction, she helps create the facade that the Trump administration really is committed to honesty and transparency.
One true statement doesn't make up for thousands of false ones, and Huckabee Sanders does not get off the hook that easily. She is still a liar working for an even bigger liar, and no selective truth telling is ever going to change that.