Sanders: Indictments have nothing to do with President Trump

Press secretary Sarah Sanders gives a White House press briefing following the indictments of Paul Manafort and Rick Gates.
12:49 | 10/30/17

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Transcript for Sanders: Indictments have nothing to do with President Trump
Either and welcome to the briefing Germany's in his political director Rick Klein went by tariff on Mary and the latest. Member of the newest member of our. Team here at ABC covering the White House and we're gonna bring you some other guests in a moment but. This is 88 and early. Rattling day in in trump world you better watch our live stream you know that is but the big headlines. Involved. Two separate big incidents today in criminal charges against all of out of fort advocates former top campaign officials and it guilty plea from a man named George pop vocalists until now kind of a bit player. Tara let's start by picking apart and focusing on how the president. Responding to an end to the White House today on on this you're basically getting them now minimizing the role of these three men saying never heard of these guys how does that square while. Sit kind of freeing them as rogue actors and people who really had bit parts on the campaign volunteer you kept hearing. You know a one time and can needy. It's really. It's it's kind of a disservice to their actual role because you know according to the affidavit you see that they were asking for permission for campaign advisors to travel abroad to talk with for an official. On top of that back when Sean Spicer as Press Secretary he. You know try to alleged that Paul metaphor was a bit player in the campaign public at a fort with the campaign and the campaign exactly that if you try to make that argument at one point and then use it again it's like when can you really believe from the White House and this quick pop up let's could have been. A very minor person who perhaps need to be arraigned then. It's better at meeting with acting a bit rove may be under the influence of people but at the same time you can't use that line you've used it on the actual campaign manager. Two points that are critical he was the campaign manager not just through the convention development beyond Bryant gearing up into the general election as part of that meeting at trump tower with Don junior that it was. All under the auspices of trying to get that information at Hillary Clinton Rick case was with the campaign through the end. He stayed with the Presidential Inaugural Committee the right outside affiliated group and as for pop monopolist president himself named him as an as of as a foreign policy advisor and look. We know the big names of at a port gates I think the bigger story today's top it off. I think such I think it was an October surprise because he was the person who really the affidavit was the juicy part you really sock connection between the campaign. And you know trying to influence election the Russians is as was this is what they needed and yes but the law. You know Tribe's attorney secular said earlier that it was just you know perjury that he was actually found guilty of it's not electorate is found guilty at its what they're gonna get front and. That's right he has flips we know that he's cooperating is the rest of me back in July but that was kept under seal until today and we know that provide a lot of information about meetings including information. About superiors at the campaign that's one thing that's in there and I think it's Guinness challenge the White House explanation of events we learn who those superiors or. And how close they are to the what the president at this moment more on the campaign I mean. If it's a real White House official that's a little Dicey current White House that this exactly you'll right. Any and keep in mind that that the White House for a long time is just have this blanket thing the president himself no pollution no collusion and I heard a bit of a different standard today for our SAR Sanders saying it no longer acting on behalf of an official. Campaign initiative doing this that's again. It if there were attempts to it to try to get the Russians involved information to the Russians from the Russians they were rogue actors. That's why there's this missing piece and in whatever pop accomplices able provided to investigators about who was approving this who knew about it and Torre that Penske. Reggae and he's on the affidavit that at Papa jobless claims at eight campaign supervisor. Told and even the authorization to essentially travel abroad to speak with foreign agents to receive information about the Clinton Campaign so. Essentially this is a really really big piece of evidence it was an explosive. You know I don't think anyone had been seeking map pap atop the list in the past few weeks that's no that this. Small character might have all of the beds at its it really means that that Muller. I investigation is really moving forward and at the same time lesson there are some doubts about you know. The app budget current investigation like this song is alas is he making any progress and I think in a way that timing is interesting now he's saying Monday morning I've got some debts so. And keep in mind what would that the political climate that greeted Bob Muller's up first before rate today you had a series of new investigations launched just last week. Right against Clinton and Obama error stick potential scandals and there was a whole new chorus from conservative media saying Bob Mueller should go he should resign. Question whether he's going to be independent they're trying to undermine him he spoke back the way he can only he can some day with actual actions how does this change the game. Give give him some credibility and backed by you know showing that there was you know some missed some foul play by the Democrats as well that he's looking into you saw that act Tony Podesta and they're resigning today from his firm this as a really. Big piece of news on this day essentially I mean it will that's basically get cover it will get minimal coverage I'd probably a Smart move. Because of the overshadowing news but I think you know this gives him some momentum and some leverage and I think he'll he'll be able to move full steam ahead without question about what he's actually doing. Now let's talk about the president himself because we know things are Sanders they spoke today in the wake of this information coming down he did tweak. Earlier today although the tweets came before pat the novelist was handed down. I and he concluded his tweets I just say no collusion and try to point that what happened with Matt up for what happened repeat this all happened in in the past and years and years and years ago. But and you see it up there on the screen at the as he finishes are also no collusion all caps and you know he doesn't scream on Twitter with the best of the moon and terror I don't even talking people have been in contact with the president over the weekend as he knew this was happening even today what are they talking about about his state of mind how the US. That's a good question yet been and communication with some senior administration official some over tax message and over the weekend even though he fired off these really fiery tweet that we should investigating Hillary and the fans he's pretty com. So you know. That's the sort of dichotomy of trump is that he can be pretty fiery on online and then. Yes which really quick he's got a very short attention span but then there are times an effort from these same officials. That he can angry for very sustained peak period attacked it's usually over loyalty issues as what really buyers not. Now after he found out about how the topless a source tells me that he sorted seem to feel like he we've gone through so much worse. And making the activists while he in the long view tank. And I believe we are Pierre Thomas. Our justice correspondent joining us right now he PR so. It give us your big take away about how this changes the game what do we learn about Muller's investigation. Has its work with with the White House has been saying some. But I think two things that we learned is number one that Mueller is clearly not afraid. Or has no reluctance or go to. Local after a major figures that were in front orbit orbit specifically. Part man of fort. And the case that was presented the guilty plea involving. George Papa Koppel is. Is. Going to be seen as a very significant. Matter in this sense. He's a cooperating witness who's been helping. Investigators now for months since July. And his story is one of which. He claims that he was a communicating what Russians. People that he knew. Or suspected or sad that they had ties to the Russian government. Then he made the cardinal mistake. The one thing to use it you'd that you don't do he lied to the FBI. He suggested that this Russian professor which had these ties to the Russian. Government was so that nothing if there was no big deal. Then the very next day according to the charges. He deleted a FaceBook page with laid out. Some of the specifics about. The relationship with the Russian. And he also. Apparently suggested that he had communicated. Some of his dealings with the Russians to senior campaign officials so. This is clear signs that. Mueller has a lot more information that he is declared publicly and that pressure is being put on a lot of people. Across the board. I think it's it's a great point Keyaron before we let you going back that's a cover in this big important all consuming story today. I want to ask you about about map for and gates in this case. You just read this on faced argue that they have a clean case against these two men on related to the campaign or is there something larger potentially at work and what mullah trying to do. What to think this has nothing to do the case at its map forty gates has laid out today has nothing to do with collusion. It's about whether they were secretly. Working on behalf of a foreign entities. Ukrainian officials with ties to the Russians. And whether they hit the proceeds. Income. From that that relationship and didn't pay the proper amount of taxes and and there being hit with that obviously so. When you indict someone in the manner that Mueller indicted a man affording gates today. It lays out. The potential for heavy pressure for copper cooperation. In other areas. All right Pierre Thomas thanks for doing that being with us today and you're standing by for yachts special report over on the TV network as well thanks here. Pleasure and targets that just it jump off one of the point for the repeat that than the earth right and strategy behind behind all of this. Though the White House strategy seems to be ten to my mind. We're not gonna talk about this we're talking engagement or give any ground on this. Mean it's our Sanders that it started with a bizarre. My arable about about be your. Taxes at reporters but where did that come. Prodded at that has been anything today. I mean children's stories that we're for your kids got enough they work for the base and I think the way I would think that they would feel like they're being talked down to with these children stories. But yeah even and that some of the colleagues of hers are thought I was a little strange but yes he David children's story to explain tax reforms even set it up. With that kind of a joke saying I know you're all coming here and of course sad and sad. Tax reform and letters and you'll investigations it's like they're making light of but the truth is they can't really delve too much and yet because there is a separation. Between the White House and the investigation and that they have to respect that. And obviously she's gonna get questions in shall be able to punt emirate for that the Ty Cobb. But you know it's getting closer and closer White House and they're gonna need to. Learn a little bit more about what happened. I was struck the totally she was not as combative as we seen her in the past there's some talk about the clintons in the end museum where the real pollution as but it is she's strong or even last week on those topics. I wonder if if somebody's time if somebody things are moderated based on the president's own mood as you mentioned he's not is not met fire most fiery mood so maybe she comes up with a more subdued. It's true an earlier Sam was checking to see you know what will Sarah say on the stand down we should really be paying attention to her opening statements will she defiant will. Will she come out swinging and I was told little an infection of wanna touch at all unless of course of the last sent the president tells her. We need you to come out there and fire away and that wasn't the case so I think a lot of their mood is predicated on the mood of the president he seems to feel like this is. This is distant enough from him he didn't get past this and snow it's gone through a lot worse all right we're Iraqis today Tara Palmer what did you learn today what did you learn anything takeaways. I reading that I'm hearing a lot of the same thing every single day in the -- you're not a lot of that recycled comments come back and back again and I think stay with you today. In terms of this investigation and I think that Mueller has a lot of ammo right now and he'll be fewer questions about what he's upscale. And it and I'll change Ashis metaphors and similar plays hardball that is some high hard ones that are aimed right at the White House and him. Tickets totality what he did today it's the new evidence new information that gets it's that the pollution front. And a whole bunch of new stuff that that gets directly at that up for another campaign insiders. Brings the heat on them and potentially sends a message president trump himself about all the things that feels about his tax. All that is the other is a piece you electable or might know exactly what he's doing right. And right that does it for this edition of the briefing room you can check us out. A tomorrow as well please download the ABC news app check out the don't block it for tariff on Larry I'm Rick Klein. But honest next time.

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

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