Emails Reveal White House Hid Role In Sherrod Firing

Friday, 09 Mar 2012 11:26 AM

By Dan Weil

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The White House was much more closely involved with the controversial forced resignation of Agriculture Department employee Shirley Sherrod than officials first acknowledged, e-mails obtained through the Freedom of Information Act by Judicial Watch show.

Her resignation came in 2010 after the late journalist Andrew Breitbart posted a video clip of a Sherrod speech in which she cited an incident in which she didn’t offer a white farmer the “full force of what I could do” in 1986, saying that it was a “racist tale.”

When Sherrod was forced out after Breitbart’s posting, then-White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs pegged the decision to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, saying the White House was informed but not “consulted” about the decision. But it turns out that the White House had its fingers in this pie almost from the beginning, Politico reports.

And Agriculture Department officials knew from the beginning that Sherrod’s remarks had a wider context, Politico reports. She had actually been calling for racial harmony, but White House officials were worried that she would cause a political problem based on her words about racism.

The e-mails show the Agriculture Department and White House were freaking out about how Fox News would portray the story.



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