Sarah Sanders 'sorry' for citing misleading black jobs numbers

WASHINGTON — White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders issued a rare correction late Tuesday after citing misleading numbers on black employment in defending President Donald Trump against an allegation that he has used the N-word.

"Correction from today's briefing: Jobs numbers for Pres Trump and Pres Obama were correct, but the time frame for Pres Obama wasn't," Sanders wrote on twitter. "I'm sorry for the mistake, but no apologies for the 700,000 jobs for African Americans created under President Trump."

During her briefing with reporters earlier in the day, Sanders had mixed and matched figures.

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President welcomes 'Bikers for Trump' at his New Jersey property
U.S. President Donald Trump meets with supporters from a group called "Bikers for Trump" at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, U.S., August 11, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Barria TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
U.S. President Donald Trump talks with a supporter during a meeting with a group called "Bikers for Trump" at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, U.S., August 11, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
A supporter of U.S. President Donald Trump stands under the rain as Trump meets with supporters from a group called "Bikers for Trump" at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, U.S., August 11, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
U.S. President Donald Trump talks with a supporter during a meeting with a group called "Bikers for Trump" at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, U.S., August 11, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
U.S. President Donald Trump reacts as he meets with supporters from a group called "Bikers for Trump" at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, U.S., August 11, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
U.S. President Donald Trump meets with supporters from a group called "Bikers for Trump" at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, U.S., August 11, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
A man takes a selfie with U.S. President Donald Trump as he meets with supporters from a group called "Bikers for Trump" at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, U.S., August 11, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
A supporter takes a selfie with U.S. President Donald Trump as he meets with supporters from a group called "Bikers for Trump" at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, U.S., August 11, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
U.S. President Donald Trump meets with supporters from a group called "Bikers for Trump" at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, U.S., August 11, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
U.S. President Donald Trump meets with supporters from a group called "Bikers for Trump" at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, U.S., August 11, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
U.S. President Donald Trump meets with supporters from a group called "Bikers for Trump" at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, U.S., August 11, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
U.S. President Donald Trump meets with supporters from a group called "Bikers for Trump" at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, U.S., August 11, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
U.S. President Donald Trump meets with supporters from a group called "Bikers for Trump" at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, U.S., August 11, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
A member of White House staff stands under the rain as U.S. President Donald Trump meets with supporters from a group called "Bikers for Trump" at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, U.S., August 11, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
U.S. President Donald Trump meets with supporters from a group called "Bikers for Trump" at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, U.S., August 11, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
A supporter holds up a "Bikers For Trump" sign as he attends Republican U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore's election night party in Montgomery, Alabama, U.S. December 12, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Bachman
U.S. President Donald Trump meets with supporters from a group called "Bikers for Trump" at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, U.S., August 11, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
U.S. President Donald Trump meets with supporters from a group called "Bikers for Trump" at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, U.S., August 11, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
A woman looks at her phone after US President Donald Trump met with supporters during a Bikers for Trump event at the Trump National Golf Club August 11, 2018 in Bedminster, New Jersey. - Trump welcomed approximately 180 bikers made up of Veterans, law enforcement, supporters and members from the Bikers for Trump New Jersey chapter. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Supporters wait for US President Donald Trump during a Bikers for Trump event at the Trump National Golf Club August 11, 2018 in Bedminster, New Jersey. - Trump welcomed approximately 180 bikers made up of Veterans, law enforcement, supporters and members from the Bikers for Trump New Jersey chapter. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump leaves after greeting supporters during a Bikers for Trump event at the Trump National Golf Club August 11, 2018 in Bedminster, New Jersey. - Trump welcomed approximately 180 bikers made up of Veterans, law enforcement, supporters and members from the Bikers for Trump New Jersey chapter. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump greets supporters during a Bikers for Trump event at the Trump National Golf Club August 11, 2018 in Bedminster, New Jersey. - Trump welcomed approximately 180 bikers made up of Veterans, law enforcement, supporters and members from the Bikers for Trump New Jersey chapter. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump greets supporters during a Bikers for Trump event at the Trump National Golf Club August 11, 2018 in Bedminster, New Jersey. - Trump welcomed approximately 180 bikers made up of Veterans, law enforcement, supporters and members from the Bikers for Trump New Jersey chapter. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump takes a selfie with a supporter during a Bikers for Trump event at the Trump National Golf Club August 11, 2018 in Bedminster, New Jersey. - Trump welcomed approximately 180 bikers made up of Veterans, law enforcement, supporters and members from the Bikers for Trump New Jersey chapter. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump greets supporters during a Bikers for Trump event at the Trump National Golf Club August 11, 2018 in Bedminster, New Jersey. - Trump welcomed approximately 180 bikers made up of Veterans, law enforcement, supporters and members from the Bikers for Trump New Jersey chapter. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump greets supporters during a Bikers for Trump event at the Trump National Golf Club August 11, 2018 in Bedminster, New Jersey. - Trump welcomed approximately 180 bikers made up of Veterans, law enforcement, supporters and members from the Bikers for Trump New Jersey chapter. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump listens as supporters cheer following the pledge of allegiance during a Bikers for Trump event at the Trump National Golf Club August 11, 2018 in Bedminster, New Jersey. - Trump welcomed approximately 180 bikers made up of Veterans, law enforcement, supporters and members from the Bikers for Trump New Jersey chapter. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump greets supporters during a Bikers for Trump event at the Trump National Golf Club August 11, 2018 in Bedminster, New Jersey. - Trump welcomed approximately 180 bikers made up of Veterans, law enforcement, supporters and members from the Bikers for Trump New Jersey chapter. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump greets supporters during a Bikers for Trump event at the Trump National Golf Club August 11, 2018 in Bedminster, New Jersey. - Trump welcomed approximately 180 bikers made up of Veterans, law enforcement, supporters and members from the Bikers for Trump New Jersey chapter. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump makes a comment to the press about former aid Omarosa Manigault Newman while meeting with supporters during a Bikers for Trump event at the Trump National Golf Club August 11, 2018 in Bedminster, New Jersey. - Trump welcomed approximately 180 bikers made up of Veterans, law enforcement, supporters and members from the Bikers for Trump New Jersey chapter. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump signs a Trump flag while meeting with supporters during a Bikers for Trump event at the Trump National Golf Club August 11, 2018 in Bedminster, New Jersey. - Trump welcomed approximately 180 bikers made up of Veterans, law enforcement, supporters and members from the Bikers for Trump New Jersey chapter. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump greets guests while meeting with supporters during a Bikers for Trump event at the Trump National Golf Club August 11, 2018 in Bedminster, New Jersey. - Trump welcomed approximately 180 bikers made up of Veterans, law enforcement, supporters and members from the Bikers for Trump New Jersey chapter. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump signs a hat while meeting with supporters during a Bikers for Trump event at the Trump National Golf Club August 11, 2018 in Bedminster, New Jersey. - Trump welcomed approximately 180 bikers made up of Veterans, law enforcement, supporters and members from the Bikers for Trump New Jersey chapter. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump meets with a Bikers for Trump event at the Trump National Golf Club August 11, 2018 in Bedminster, New Jersey. - Trump welcomed approximately 180 bikers made up of Veterans, law enforcement, supporters and members from the Bikers for Trump New Jersey chapter. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Supporters watch US President Donald Trump during a Bikers for Trump event at the Trump National Golf Club August 11, 2018 in Bedminster, New Jersey. - Trump welcomed approximately 180 bikers made up of Veterans, law enforcement, supporters and members from the Bikers for Trump New Jersey chapter. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
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"This president, since he took office, in the year and a half that he's been here, has created 700,000 new jobs for African Americans," she said. "When President Obama left, after eight years in office —eight years in office, he had only created 800 — or 195,000 jobs for African Americans. President Trump in his first year and a half has already tripled what President Obama did in eight years."

But the numbers Sanders cited, drawn from a report from Trump's Council of Economic Advisers, reflected the Trump administration's unique interpretation of the beginning of a presidential term and accounted only for the first portion of Obama's tenure. African-American employment increased by about three million jobs over Obama's eight years in office.

The window Sanders used for Obama reflected the period from November 2008 through July 2010 — not his entire tenure, as she'd claimed — while her numbers for Trump accounted for a parallel stretch of time.

Aside from the apples-to-oranges comparison of black employment under each president, the press secretary's mistake highlighted the CEA's decision to measure the economic records of presidents starting on the day they were elected rather than the day they took office. That means Obama's jobs numbers are weighed down by the recession at the end of George W. Bush's presidency and Trump's are buoyed by the final months of Obama's presidency.

Sanders rattled off the jobs numbers as part of her response to a question NBC's Kristen Welker asked about an allegation made by former Trump aide Omarosa Manigault Newman in her new book: "Can you stand at the podium and guarantee the American people will never hear Donald Trump utter the N-word on a recording in any context?"

On Wednesday, Sanders offered a simple explanation for why she felt it was important to publicly apologize for the misleading figures.

"The information was incorrect and I wanted to make sure information from us was accurate," she said in an email. "So I put out a correction."

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