April Ryan's "incitement": Sarah Sanders among heads to start "lopping off"

That’s not what she meant, April Ryan’s defenders will say, but it’s not conservatives who cry “incitement” over every criticism and metaphor. To say that reporter Ryan and White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders have a rocky relationship is to understate their working relationship. I’ve written about the dust-ups between the two women, as have others on this site. Remember #PieGate? Yes, April Ryan actually turned a pie into a story to own Sanders.

With the release of the Mueller report, April Ryan, a White House correspondent for American Urban Radio Networks and CNN contributor, quickly began a call for the firing of Sanders. The Mueller report shows that Sanders acknowledged to Mueller’s investigators that she misled reporters by stating that rank and file FBI agents had lost confidence in James Comey in the lead up to his firing.

The special counsel’s report, released Thursday, cited Sanders’s multiple false statements to reporters as part of its review of whether President Trump obstructed justice in firing Comey. Sanders told investigators that her misstatements were a “slip of the tongue,” and that the claims were not founded on anything.

In a draft termination letter, Trump cited low morale within the bureau in his reasoning for firing Comey on May 9, 2017. The next day, Sanders, then the deputy press secretary, spoke to Trump about his decision before a press briefing with reporters, Mueller wrote.

“The president, over the last several months, lost confidence in Director Comey,” Sanders said in an opening statement at the May 10 briefing. “The DOJ [Department of Justice] lost confidence in Director Comey. Bipartisan members of Congress made it clear that they had lost confidence in Director Comey. And most importantly, the rank and file of the FBI had lost confidence in their director.

“Accordingly, the president accepted the recommendation of his deputy attorney general to remove James Comey from his position,” she added.

As reported by Newsbusters, Ryan appeared on CNN and her rhetoric truly went to the dark side. April Ryan asserted that Sanders lied and cannot be trusted. “Start lopping the heads off.”

“Not only does she not have credibility, she lied. She out and out lied,” she declared as emotion welled up in her voice. “And the people, the American people can’t trust her. They can’t trust what’s said from the President’s mouthpiece-spokesperson from the people’s house. Therefore, she should be let go. She should be fired, end of story.”

Things got very dark as Ryan rhetorically suggested that since there was “a lack of credibility there, you have to start and start lopping the heads off.” She added: “It’s fire me Thursday or fire me Good Friday. She needs to go.”

By the standards of the Left on rhetoric and violence, isn’t that “incitement”? What exactly do most people visualize when someone starts talking about “lopping” heads off? It’s not exactly Christianity’s Holy Week, that’s for sure. That bit of hyperbole was a metaphor uttered to drive home a point, of course, but the Left has freaked out over any criticism of its leading lights as incitement over much less than “lopping off heads” metaphors. If we’re going to start imposing standards on “incitement,” we’d better be prepared to impose them equally.

Sanders appeared on Sean Hannity’s Fox show Thursday night and responded about the story. She jabbed Comey as she spoke.

Sanders told Fox News host Sean Hannity on Thursday night that she was wrong to use the word “countless,” but did say it was “not untrue” that “a number of current and former FBI agents agreed with the president” about Comey while referring to him as a “disgraced leaker.”

I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that April Ryan’s opinion on personnel matters probably carry little weight with President Trump. She can call for Sarah’s termination but it will likely only result in a tweet by him if even that. Ryan may think Sanders will be made the fall guy in this matter but as things stand, it’s highly unlikely.

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Ben Shapiro 12:01 AM on June 01, 2023