Sanders: Indictments by Mueller Have Nothing to Do With Trump Campaign
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said today that indictments handed down by special counsel Robert Mueller have "nothing to do" with President Trump or his campaign.
Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his associate Rick Gates were indicted by a federal grand jury Monday on 12 counts, including conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money, unregistered agent of a foreign principal, false and misleading Foreign Agent Registration (FARA) statements, false statements and seven counts of failure to file reports of foreign banks and financial accounts.
Both pleaded not guilty to the charges Monday afternoon.
Also announced by Mueller was a guilty plea by George Papadopolous, a former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser, to making false statements to FBI agents.
According to court documents, Papadopolous' false statements to the FBI concerned his contact with a professor with connections to the Russian government about "thousands of emails" that could damage Hillary Clinton.
Sanders downplayed Papadopolous' role within the campaign, saying the indictment is over his "failure to tell the truth," not campaign activities.
"This individual was a member of a volunteer council that met one time," she said of Papadopolous, adding nothing in today's indictments is "evidence of Trump-Russia collusion."
She said Papadopolous "reached out" to other campaign officials but no meeting ever occurred.
Sanders said there is "no intention or plan" by the president to fire or remove Mueller from the investigation. She said the White House still expects Mueller's investigation to end "soon."
She reiterated that the "real collusion scandal" involves the Clinton campaign, Fusion GPS and Russia working to "smear" Trump.
Watch her answers above.