White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders defended President Donald Trump’s decision to pardon Scooter Libby during a Sunday morning appearance on ABC’s “This Week.”
Sanders was responding to the claim, tweeted by Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff that the president’s pardon was designed to send a message of encouragement to those implicated in Special Counsel Mueller’s Russia probe.
Responding to @RepAdamSchiff’s criticism that Pres Trump’s pardon of Scooter Libby sends a message to those implicated in the Russia investigation, @PressSec Sarah Sanders says: “That couldn’t be further from the truth… these two things have nothing to do with one another.” pic.twitter.com/6orBs76Q2J
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) April 15, 2018
Schiff tweeted his concerns just hours before President Trump officially pardoned Libby on Friday.
On the day the President wrongly attacks Comey for being a “leaker and liar” he considers pardoning a convicted leaker and liar, Scooter Libby. This is the President’s way of sending a message to those implicated in the Russia investigation: You have my back and I‘ll have yours.
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) April 13, 2018
Sanders’ defense of the pardon included an attack on Schiff.
“Adam Schiff barely — rarely bases any comments in reality. Talk about a grandstander,” she said. “He probably is hook line and sinker buddies with Jim Comey. They both have never found TV camera they don’t love to be in front of. The point that the president made when it came to Scooter Libby, this was somebody who had been wrongly convicted, he’s been reinstated by the D.C. bar quite some time ago.”
Schiff was not the only person to attempt to find a hidden message in President Trump’s decision to pardon Libby.
GOP source to me just now: “the Libby pardon is aimed at Manafort.”
— Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) April 13, 2018
The message Trump is sending via the Libby pardon ISN’T a message to Flynn, Papadopoulos or Gates. People realize those men have already dished to Mueller, right? The message he’s sending is to Hicks, Clovis, Lewandowski, Cohen, other aides: you can lie to Mueller with impunity.
— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) April 14, 2018
What Trump’s pardons of Joe Arpaio & Scooter Libby had in common: Both were pardoned for crimes that obstructed justice. So both pardons were signals to DOJ targets from Mike Flynn to Michael Cohen that they needn’t comply with lawful demands that embroil Trump. https://t.co/XCyZz69H1y
— Laurence Tribe (@tribelaw) April 14, 2018
Sanders was adamant that there was no “hidden meaning” in Libby’s pardon, however. “The primary person that testified against him has recanted their testimony and the president felt it was the right thing to do. These two things have nothing to do with one another.”