August 24th, 2010
06:12 PM ET

Sherrod insists White House was behind her ouster

Martina Stewart
AC360° Digital Producer

(CNN) – Former USDA employee Shirley Sherrod insists that the White House was behind the rush decision in July to ask her to resign after a conservative web publisher released an edited video clip that seemed to show her recounting racist behavior on her part. But she left open the possibility that the request for her resignation might not have come from “others working for the president” rather than directly from President Obama.

After a meeting with Sherrod Tuesday morning, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack repeated his previous assertions that he did not speak with anyone at the White House before deciding to force Sherrod to step down.

Related: Sherrod turns down job offer from Vilsack

"This was my responsibility," he said. "I disappointed the president (and) the country. ... I have to live with that."

But, in an interview set to air Tuesday on Anderson Cooper 360° Sherrod said “I stand by that” when asked about her past assertions that the White House had been involved in the loss of her job.

“I was told that it was the White House and even though – I mean he [Vilsack] did the correct thing. He took the blame. That’s what he’s supposed to do as Secretary of Agriculture but I know what I was told: The White House wanted me to resign. Now whether that came directly from the president or others working for the president, I can’t say. But I know I was told, on July 19, it was the White House.”

In the interview, CNN’s John Roberts also asked Sherrod about Andrew Breitbart, the web publisher who posted the heavily edited video.

Watch more of the interview Tuesday night on Anderson Cooper 360°.

Filed under: Martina Stewart • Shirley Sherrod
soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Bessie Magee

    I do believe Shirley Sherrod was railroaded as many people are, esp. of color, I also believe this situation should have been handled differently, she is a person of integrity and stand for what is right, just and fair. And does not comprise by reason of someone trying to justify their actions by offering her anything to satisfy their guily, Shirley fight this thing to the end until justice pervail. Please don't just sit back and let the politics get in the way.

    August 25, 2010 at 3:24 am |
  2. lmj

    I watched the John Roberts interview with Ms. Sherrod tonight and was appalled at the question in reference to Andrew Breitbart. After pointing out that Sherrod previously accused Breitbart of being a racist, Roberts asked if she "throws the word out lightly." I was disappointed, feeling the question turned Breitbart into a victim, and once again inaccurately made Ms. Sherrod out to be a villain. I was equally disappointed in the question Roberts asked earlier in the interview, which implied that Ms. Sherrod was insensitive in her choice to turn down the job offer, in which she would have been able to continue work with people who really need her, in favor of "moving on." These questions unfairly and unnecessarily question the character of a woman who has absolutely nothing more to prove. As expected and demonstrated during this interview, Ms. Sherrod is truly a class act.

    August 25, 2010 at 12:02 am |
  3. Loverboy

    The POTUS was NOT responsible for that women's resignation. She quit her job. Now she wants to drag a fine and wonderful leader down with her. This is a typical right wingnut dirty GOP trick.

    August 24, 2010 at 11:24 pm |