The White House on Sunday slammed what it called “outrageous and slanderous” comments from Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown, who had proclaimed earlier in the day that White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller “seems to be” a white supremacist.
Brown, D-Ohio, was asked in a CNN interview if he agreed with Rep. Frederica Wilson’s recent claim that the White House “is full of white supremacists.”
“I agree that [former White House chief strategist] Steve Bannon is a white supremacist and Stephen Miller seems to be, and I know that studies have shown that they have their allies sprinkled around the White House,” Brown claimed.
“Senator Brown’s comments are outrageous and slanderous,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders responded. “The nonstop name calling from the left continues to show an inability to build consensus and fix the problems ailing hardworking Americans.
“Senator Brown needs to understand that when he calls out public servants who are part of the Trump Administration, he is indicting the voters in Ohio themselves who overwhelmingly voted for the President’s agenda,” she continued. “Instead of performing theatre for the extreme left fringe, his time would be better spent fighting for everyday people by supporting the Trump Agenda of pro-worker trade and immigration policies that will raise wages and living standards for all Americans.”
The controversy emerged after Wilson, D-Fla., last week said that President Donald Trump made an “insensitive” remark during a phone call to Myeshia Johnson, the widow of a U.S. service member killed in an Oct. 4 ambush in Niger.
Trump, Wilson claimed, told Myeshia Johnson that her husband, Army Sgt. La David Johnson, “knew what he signed up for.”
The president denied the claim, tweeting that Wilson “totally fabricated what I said.”
During a Thursday press briefing, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly criticized Wilson’s involvement in the personal call Trump made to Johnson's family.
Kelly said he was “broken-hearted” by Wilson’s involvement in the call. He also criticized Wilson by recalling her comments during the 2015 dedication of a FBI field office in Miramar, Florida.
He said Wilson “talked about how she was instrumental in getting the funding for that building, and how she took care of her constituents because she got the money, and she just called up President Obama, and on that phone call, he gave the money, the $20 million, to build the building, and she sat down. And we were stunned, stunned that she'd done it. Even for someone that is that empty a barrel, we were stunned.”
However, video of that event, released on Friday, showed that Wilson did not actually talk about the building’s funding, but instead spoke of her own efforts getting legislation passed that named the building after the fallen agents for whom it was dedicated.
“I feel very sorry for him because he feels such a need to lie on me and I’m not even his enemy,” Wilson said of Kelly in a Friday interview with The New York Times. “I just can’t even imagine why he would fabricate something like that. That is absolutely insane. I’m just flabbergasted because it’s very easy to trace.”
Wilson didn’t specifically label Kelly a racist in the piece but did claim that others in the White House are.
Fox News' Alex Pappas and The Associated Press contributed to this report.