Fact-checking Sarah Sanders' post-indictment briefing

Lawrence Kim
October 31, 2017

"I'm not here to speak on behalf of the thousands of people that may have volunteered on the campaign", Sanders said.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders deflected from news of the indictment of top 2016 campaign associates of President Donald Trump, instead blaming Hillary Clinton.

The White House will have a response Monday afternoon to charges announced against former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort.

Sanders's assertion is at odds with the indictment issued by the Special Counsel investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, which states Papadopoulos was encouraged to meet with Russian officials by campaign officials.

Though Sanders is right as it now relates to Manafort and Gates, whose indictments so far hinge on tax charges unrelated to the Trump campaign, that isn't true for Papadopoulos, according to the statement of offense signed by Mueller.

Sanders said that George Papadopoulos who has pleaded guilty to making false statements to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, had a very small role within the Trump campaign and that his activities were considered "unofficial".

"Look, this individual was a member of a volunteer advisory council that met one time over the course of a year and he was part of a list that was read out in The Washington Post", Sanders said.

Sanders was then asked by a reporter: "So his activities were entirely of his invention, no one asked him to do any of these things - is that what you're telling the American public?"

The indictment said that Papadopoulos was in contact with these Russians. However, the indictment contains no evidence that he had communicated this information to the Trump campaign.

"The president said last week, and I said several times before, there is no intention or plan to make any changes in regards to the special counsel", Sanders told ABC News' Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl.

She reiterated that the "real collusion scandal" involves the Clinton campaign, Fusion GPS and Russian Federation working to "smear" Trump.

Sanders is not the first White House official to try to diminish Manafort's role.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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