'How Is It Not Collusion?': Sanders, CNN's Acosta Spar Over Charges in Russia Probe
Sarah Sanders and CNN correspondent Jim Acosta went head to head in Monday's White House press briefing over a guilty plea by a former Trump campaign aide.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller announced that Trump campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his Russian contacts, some of whom offered "dirt" on Hillary Clinton.
Mueller also charged Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and an associate, Rick Gates, with 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.
Sanders insisted that none of the charges involved Trump campaign activities or any Trump-Russia collusion.
"How is it not collusion when George Papadopoulos is in contact with various people who are promising dirt on Hillary Clinton, a series of events that closely mirrors what occurred with the president's own son?" Acosta asked, referring to a meeting Donald Trump Jr. took with a Russian lawyer.
"Finish your monologue," Sanders quipped when Acosta talked over her.
"He was not paid by the campaign. He was a volunteer," the press secretary responded.
She explained that Papadopoulos was on a volunteer advisory council that met once over a year.
"I'd hardly call that some sort of regular adviser or as you want to push that he's like a senior member of the staff," she said, adding that Acosta should ask Papadopoulos if he wants to know more.
"I'm not here to speak on behalf of the thousands of people that may have volunteered on the campaign."
Earlier at the briefing, Sanders said the indictments have "nothing to do" with President Trump or his campaign.