Trump spokeswoman dismisses ‘Russia fever’ as attempt to take away legitimacy of his victory

Sarah Huckabee Sanders called "Russia fever" a made-up story.

— -- The president’s new press secretary dismissed the media’s focus on the Russia investigation, what she called “Russia fever,” as an attempt to delegitimize Trump’s election victory.

She said the allegations swirling around Russia and Trump associates is a “total made-up story about the president, trying to take away the legitimacy of his victory in November.”

Instead, she said the focus should be on leaks of sensitive information to the media. “We need to focus on these leaks. This is the only illegal thing that has taken place, and it's a real serious problem.”

Sanders disagreed.

"I think the president's point is that there's a real problem with leaks, whether they're actual leaks or not. There's an issue that there are constant stories, sometimes true, sometimes not, that are being leaked out of the intelligence community," she said.

Sanders said on "This Week," "The president knows the attorney general is trying hard and he appreciates that. But at the same time, he's disappointed that he chose to recuse himself. I don't think that that's inconsistent or hard to understand, that there would be frustration with that."

The president’s spokeswoman also said Trump will support proposed legislation slapping new sanctions on Russia.

“The administration is supportive of being tough on Russia, particularly in putting these sanctions in place,” she said.

The House and Senate struck a deal on a bill that puts new sanctions on Russia for its interference in the U.S. 2016 election and its military aggression in Ukraine and Syria.

“The original piece of legislation was poorly written, but we were able to work with the House and Senate, and the administration is happy with the ability to do that, and make those changes that were necessary, and we support where the legislation is now,” Sanders said.