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Mrs. Sherrod said Deputy Undersecretary Cheryl Cook phoned her repeatedly as she was driving to her office, insisting that the White House wanted her resignation. “I had at least three calls telling me the White House wanted me to resign.”

She said Ms. Cook told her, “Well, Shirley, they want you to pull over to the side of the road and do it because you’re going to be on ‘Glenn Beck’ tonight.”

Mr. Beck’s Tuesday show on Fox News did indeed feature the Sherrod story, only Mr. Beck, instead of calling for her to step down, called on the Obama administration to “give her back her job.”

In remarks that seem prophetic in light of Wednesday’s walkback by the administration, Mr. Beck said, “Something is definitely wrong here. Yes, the Obama administration has a history of acting without all the facts.”

c Kara Rowland contributed to this report.