The Slatest

Sam Donaldson: Sarah Sanders Deserves “Lifetime Achievement Oscar for Lying”

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders listens as President Donald Trump meets with World War II veterans in the Oval Office of the White House April 11, 2019 in Washington, D.C.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders listens as President Donald Trump meets with World War II veterans in the Oval Office of the White House April 11, 2019 in Washington, D.C.
Alex Wong/Getty Images

Former ABC News anchor Sam Donaldson slammed White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders for her seeming penchant for lying, saying her efforts at not telling the truth deserve an Oscar. What sets Sanders apart, the former White House correspondent said, is how willing she seems to lie about even the smallest things.

“Look, I’ve had the pleasure of working with almost every press secretary beginning with Pierre Salinger in John F. Kennedy’s administration and, except for Ron Ziegler who lied for Richard Nixon, I’ve never seen anything like this with Sarah Sanders,” Donaldson said. And even when it came to Ziegler “there’s a difference” because “Ziegler lied about one thing” and that’s whether Nixon was engaged in a cover-up of Watergate but he was still truthful on other matters. On the other hand, “Sarah Sanders simply lies about everything, taking a cue from her boss. Not just one thing.”

The lies coming out of Sanders’ mouth are so frequent that “I think she’s had an Oscar, a lifetime achievement Oscar for lying,” he added. Donaldson did go on to say though that the real problem was Trump, not his press secretary. “And let’s face it, I don’t know her. I feel a little sorry for her because it’s the boss who does it,” Donaldson said. “She takes the cue from him. Leadership begins at the top. And so it is all the bad things that happen in the administration.”

It isn’t just the frequency of the lies, Donaldson went on to say, but also that her lies are far from inconsequential. Other press secretaries may have made up quotes in support of their boss. But Sanders’ lies “are more than innocuous, they fester and they serve not the public’s interest but disinterest in learning the truth.” Donaldson made the comments during a conversation with CNN’s Anderson Cooper about Trump’s claim that he is “the most transparent president.”