Sanders: 'We give the very best information that we have at the time'

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders responds to a contentious briefing that called her credibility into question.
12:31 | 05/03/18

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Transcript for Sanders: 'We give the very best information that we have at the time'
Earth rattling day of head scratching heads spinning developments over at the White House hi everyone welcome to briefing room on ABC news political director recline. Joined here by Katherine folders from our White House team we're going to be joined by Jonathan Karl over the White House and a few moments for you this term really extraordinary briefing. From sour Sanders. Her first scenes Rudy Giuliani kind of changed everything last night we're gonna get to that in a moment but first the news this afternoon. About a wiretap. More insight into what was behind the raid on Michael Collins office ABC news confirming. That in fact federal authorities were tapping Michael Cohen's own phone lines this is a personal attorney for the president United States had his wires tapped. In the weeks leading up to that rape. Right the weeks leading up to that rated there was a wiretap now we don't know exactly the contents of the phone calls that they have but we do know that the president and Michael Cohen. Spoke frequently accuses attorney so we do know that and some that the president is probably not going to be happy about Rudy Giuliani has spoken. I'm to some outlets saying that he should be aware of this happening but that's the latest news of Michael Cohen amid the firestorm the other news. See ya and this is incited the president's mindset all of us he's aware of the fact that these wiretaps happened use very upset about the read as well again we don't know what's on these we don't know what's on any tapes we don't know who he's talking we do know that the president had a habit of drinking talked to. Michael Cohen even after he's president knows a formal role. Exactly he did have a habit of that and we know that when he. Maine he placed called Michael Coe an. Following the raise the check in on him we don't noted that the timeframe of this wiretap but he did place a call to check in on an and that. Really angered and his lawyers and his attorneys who told him. Don't place and other content specifically possibly for this worry. And speaking of Michael -- that does get us into the big development in the last 24 hours Rudy Giuliani. Even a series of interviews starting last night where key. Blew up the entire White House story line when it comes to the stormy Daniels Michael Owen he's. Previously we've been told Michael Cohen paid this money on his own he wasn't reimbursed president fox that he didn't know about it he said that to reporters on the record. The White House that it multiple times and now suddenly this bomb is dropped by Rudy Giuliani says the other president. President knew about it real. Verse them along the way let completely different narrative. Than what we've been hearing in the White House seemed to be caught off guard about it Sarah Sander says she just learned about this during a Giuliani's interview yesterday but. In the lion in his interview is also a bald too he went on. Fox News and said the president reimburse the same monthly payments some starting in February of last year he was asked if he knew about it he said he did. And now he's kind of walking that back La. And Jon Karl is joining us I wanna get in a few minutes of the New York, New York really it's interesting conversation with the Press Secretary about those questions honestly. Let's just get to the substance here. Right now this blows up the White House narratives entirely different story line and into my mind. It's. Did make these payments. She repeatedly referred back to to Giuliani so this is absolutely the official line. And what sir Sanders said is that the president when he denied knowing about the payments. On Air Force One did he at that point did not know about them but this is. A rather strange. Answer given that are reporting is that the payments that back to Michael cone began. Earlier. Last year I mean that they've shortly after the president took office about February of 2017. So. How the president didn't know that he was paying back Michael Cohen for the outages that it did it's not all adding up. Yeah and the time like Katherine is so interesting here ariz you have to twister softens all clients a logical circles to make the White House version of events lineup that somehow. A when he was asked about it he didn't know about it even though the payments have been taking place for more than a year is always a something secret. In Trump's world that he knew that it was happening to this he was going to Michael Cohen he pretended Ort said he said publicly that he did knowing about it. Eat Kennedys that probably didn't know anything about it as John mentioned this is something. At according to our reporting. And that started a last year reality the other big element of this is. I'm the idea that this wasn't at all connected to the campaign Rudy Giuliani kept saying that there's a lot of campaign finance and legal issues associated. With that but then he brought up. That if Michael calling didn't. Cover this up then it could of. Yeah the plot thickens around all of this and I'll call and other than Rudy Giuliani. Said in in his routed interviews is he a new justification. For the president's decision to fire teams call me that's our center saying he convict fire for any any reason he wants the fiery inspiring when he wants fine. But he says now Rudy Giuliani says that the reason for the firing is that. Call me refuse to tell the president that's. Say publicly that he was cleared in any investigation. That's a new one anything in it's certainly different than the multiple explanations we've heard. From the White House and the president himself. It's a new and we didn't know that the president was deeply frustrated at the White House. Staff was deeply frustrated it. It Colby had given private assurances to the president that he was not a target of the investigation. But would not say that publicly the president asked them to say that publicly I know. From our reporting at the time that then White House chief of staff writes for you missed. Asked Colby to say that publicly so we can know that there was discontent with in the west wing. About that but didn't ever mention that as a reason. I mean the first reason obviously was the rot Rosen Stein memo taking issue. We have basically co -- mistreatment of Hillary Clinton during the campaign and then the president himself and that it was Lester holt interview. That Russia was on its mine in the Russian investigation but nobody's ever mentioned this and tell. Giuliani announced that this was the reason that call me was fired. And John I wanna just put in perspective the bill the wild turns of those trump legal team it just in the last 24 hours you and I talked to Ty Cobb yesterday morning Catherine helped set up editor using that are backed. And he got outline the legal strategy we learned hours later that he is out the president is bringing in a new attorney who worked on the Clinton impeachment and Rudy Giuliani is now emerged as the leading spokesman for those legal efforts the White House pointing to him repeatedly. What does all of this tell you John about. Other big question of whether the president Israelis doubt Robert Mueller more or less likely than a day or two ago. Well I think what we're seeing play out here's a big game of chicken clearly the latest moves. Are putting the president's legal team and a much more aggressive. And hostile crouch towards the special counsel. Because operation the idea we're gonna cooperate we want to do it interviewers negotiated terms of interview that was Ty cobb's approach. That is goal on. They are not saying they won't do an interview but there shortly strongly suggesting. That there may be no reason to do and I am in your view and if they do they're gonna try to really narrow. Did the terms of that on the other side we know. But the special counsel has suggested that the president could be compelled. To give the interview in other words that we could see a subpoena for the president. To testify before the grand jury. I get the sense that neither side actually wants to go. To those extremes. You know a battle over a subpoena is won that on one hand. The White House ultimately would lose at the Supreme Court almost certainly based on the long line of judicial precedent on this. What it's also a battle that could go on for seven to nine months. If not longer and you know Mahler doesn't want to be locked in the battle over over the president's testimony that takes him you know until next year that's not what he wants either. So John you had it up pretty direct a visit direct an exchange you'll receive between between a reporter in the front row in the in the white house Press Secretary. I you asked about those White House pattern and I think there's multiple examples you cited about what you call a blatant disregard for the truth. From this White House what did you make about house. What I didn't ask this question lightly you re right I you know this was. What what what I said is giving. That the president has so repeatedly said things that just aren't true in the show and and president in this White House has shown what appears to be a blatant disregard for the truth Howard the American people the trust. What is said by the president or what is said in that in that briefing room. And what struck me is that her answer was not to take issue with the premise of my question. There was no push back to the premise of my question. She simply tried to explain why they have said things that are true saying that. You know she's she's on the best with the information that she's had a time. Well that the president's I mean it would it was just a very muted response to. To me you know to a really direct and pointed question about this point the question is I mean the most pointed questions and harassed in the room. The outline and kudos to you for asking of that the way you did and I eight think it's telling to Catherine me. Do reach the age when she talks and of the miss information yet the time she's essentially. Talking about the president's own information she's been asked to explain and often inexplicable thing. Like the Michael Cohen affair she's been have to to provide spin on that. Did you do that as sour Sanders looking for a little bit of a lifeline after after a week where she's gotten a lot of press positive or negative. I think that's the best information she had at the time time he. Yes I think so and she's definitely trying to push back on. The narrative that she was untruthful to the press how the information got to us that was not true from the president. I'm from her as well selling at the there is still. That question on what what did she know land which she didn't really explain that was just her lines she just kept saying I gave you the best information that I have the time so I think looking for a bit of life. And John Carlo for illegal and it's a hot days there on the on on the White House White House north lawn it. Wanted to turn to the topic of North Korea there's been some reporting out there are perpetuated in part by Rudy Giuliani that North Korea's about to release American citizens held in captivity. That aside. The White House today as saying. Really no more pre meetings the next one is going to be debate one. What's your sense of where things stand what else that's the fault the place before president trump and Kim Jung on actually meet face to face. What seems like it's getting close it's very close hold here at the White House we really don't know. The that the last negotiating the details you know terms of location strong suggestion from the president would be in the DMZ the parameters. The exact date but it seems like we're getting very close to an announcement on those details. All right John run back think that jacket and hot out for a jacket on the White House WTO it now. Next up and happened to me this is just an example all of all of the different chaotic story lines we're hearing. People of the White House are saying on the record the that all these other things all these investigations that we talk about. Absolutely it is detracting from nine and a lot of this and it batteries text that is up from a White House official about this but a lot of this was. Fueled by eight. Giuliani's interview he now apparently is the spokesperson for the White House and it is. Detracting of the you know from from diplomacy from you know everything they want to do legislatively every day in the White House and a White House official said in terms of his interview that people here were blind sighted in he said breathtaking would be how Hanley described the gritty stuff. It's really served as they distraction. In the White House and house taken away you know. A lot from policy rate supplements that way Catherine thanks so much for that. Thank you for watching the briefing room please download the ABC news app on ABC his political director Rick Pfeiffer Catherine folders. We'll be back here next on on the receiver.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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