White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders refused to deny that
Sanders appeared on camera from the White House hours after Trump’s longtime advisor was arrested in
A key passage in the indictment uses the passive voice and states that a ‘senior Trump Campaign official’ was ‘directed’ to contact Stone about WikiLeaks to get damaging information on
Sanders was grilled repeatedly on
‘When you want to get into speculative questions you’ll have to talk to the president’s outside counsel on that,’ Sanders told interviewer John Berman, asked point blank if Donald Trump directed a senior official to contact Roger Stone about WikiLeaks
According to the indictment: ‘After the July 22, 2016 release of stolen DNC emails by Organization 1, a senior Trump Campaign official was directed to contact STONE about any additional releases and what other damaging information Organization 1 had regarding the Clinton Campaign. STONE thereafter told the Trump Campaign about potential future releases of damaging material by Organization 1.’
That passage drew immediate speculation that it could be Trump, since a low-level figure could not provide direction to a senior campaign official.
‘When you want to get into speculative questions you’ll have to talk to the president’s outside counsel on that,’ Sanders told interviewer John Berman.
Longtime Trump advisor Roger Stone was indicted Friday for lying about his contacts with WikiLeaks
Sanders wouldn’t confirm or deny whether Donald Trump is the person who directed a senior Trump campaign official to reach out to Stone about WikiLeaks
Pressed, she said: ‘If you want to get into the weeds on that you’ll have to talk to an attorney.’
She added: ‘I’m not going to be able to provide you some type of insight or legal analysis. What I can tell you is that these specific charges that have been brought against Mr. Stone don’t have anything to do with the president.’
She also sought to distance Trump from Stone, who says he has been urging Trump to run for president for years.
‘Roger Stone is somebody who’s been a consultant for dozens of Republican presidents and candidates and members of Congress,’ said Sanders.
Sanders was grilled about Trump about a passage in the indictment
‘But conversations between those individuals have nothing to do with the fact of what the charges are about. And that’s about whether or not he made false statements. We’ll let the courts make the decision. I think the bigger question is if this is the standard, will the same standard apply to people like Hillary Clinton, James Comey, Clapper? Will we see the same people we know have also made false statements, will that same standard apply?’