Jim Acosta Grills Sarah Sanders on Don Jr., Papadopoulos: ‘How Is It Not Collusion?’
In the midst of an absolutely insane day for political news, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders did her best to spin the two huge stories that came out of the Mueller probe — the indictments of Paul Manafort and Rick Gates and the announcement that former Trump campaign advisor George Papadopoulos had pled guilty to lying to the FBI over his Russian connections.
Regarding Papadopoulos matter, Sanders wanted to make sure to put forth one specific narrative — that he was merely a low-level campaign volunteer that the president didn’t know him personally. Therefore, this didn’t rise to the level of collusion with Russia.
CNN senior White House correspondent Jim Acosta confronted Sanders on this matter, asking the press secretary how she could describe Papadopoulos as having a limited role with the campaign when there is a photograph of him sitting at a table with then-candidate Donald Trump and Trump was cited at the time as bragging that Papadopoulos was a top adviser to his campaign.
“How is it not collusion when George Papadopoulos was in contact with various people who are promising dirt on Hillary Clinton and a series of events that closely mirrors what occurred with the president’s own son?” Acosta asked, referencing Donald Trump Jr’s meeting with a Russian lawyer who promised damaging info on Clinton.
“This individual was the member of a volunteer council that met one time over the course of a year,” Sanders responded. “He was part of a list that was read out in the Washington Post. I hardly call that some sort of regular adviser or as you want to push that he is like a senior member of the staff. He was not paid by the campaign. He was a volunteer on a council that met once.”
Acosta pushed back, noting that he was pursuing information from the Russians, but the White House spokesperson brushed him off by claiming Papadopoulos was a volunteer just like thousands of others during the campaign.
Watch the clip above, via CNN.
[image via screengrab]
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]