WH press secretary Sarah Sanders takes questions on Russian election interference and more

ABC News' powerhouse politics team breaks down the headlines out of the briefing.
14:16 | 02/27/18

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Transcript for WH press secretary Sarah Sanders takes questions on Russian election interference and more
Tiger walk. I'm easy. Rick Klein joined here by Johnny burg hoping and our let's signs of the gates today because that the trump campaign as a campaign manager. We'll get to that in a little bit but that retirement Parkinson or Capitol Hill. In a few moments as well. But I want to start with the big news of the day outlined again today guns guns guns this has continued to be. The topic that the White House is being pressed on we're still not though giving any real specifics are two sort of small pieces of legislation. That they have not come out on work for but other than that it's still generalities from the White House. White House really hasn't been specific on what the president supports this heat they sit he supports expanding. He the current background check system and hinting at. But as far as it comes to that question about whether he still supports. Raising the age I'm buying on rifles and eighteen to 21 presence in a little bit silent about that in recent days after months. The top leaders are buried she says that he still there are theaters and I think he still supports the idea they're not getting. Received when he. I'm certain weapons they're knocking him any specifics until they. Yet I've had ordered today yesterday it's is that where the dates dates and conversations out for having these conversations were considered proposals but. Who are starting easy and I'm sure college on partisan talk about this are starting to see some villagers were starting to see. You know certain you know proposals put forth and you hurts here's Anderson there there there's going to be some need to paper at some point this week talking about certain proposals but. When it actually comes to what president's priorities are and that's what you're actually supports. Getting the late this and there's been reports the last couple days he's backing away from you teen age limit its. Not so much until you see actual bill it's very it's impossible to know whether we're talking about fall person narrator up with the interim. And really there's all these different pills that are fourth congress on the question is actually gain traction in the while this week on on Capitol Hill is actually very shortly because. Billy Graham funeral later in the week I'll ask our colleague John Parkinson has been tracking. All these developments and much more there's there's a press in the senate senator rubio trying to get that fixed knicks built this for the White House again. Expressed support for this is the bipartisan. John Cornyn and Chris Murphy legislation. But there's been some blowback even among his fellow Republicans and also some Democrats who don't wanna see come up if it's going to be got an innate in a vacuum John what's the prospect of any action on guns in a capital this week. I still think that that's really a long shot I think that senator McConnell really have to go through regular order to get any sort of activity in and that would really be a process would play out over days. As you mentioned. Marco Rubio is trying to push forward on on his ideas. And in seeking four unanimous consent on the background check bill. But senator likely of you talk has so far objecting to consent. And so at this point we really don't think that that's going to be rushed upon the floor as you said tomorrow Billy Graham is really going to be taken the focus away the house is out at the end of today. And I will not have votes the rest of the week so really use the house sent over a bill in December 6 here into the senate. It is that background check bill with concealed carry. And also provision in there to direct the Department of Justice to take action on pump stocks. But those bills really get back combined force. He's not gonna carry through the senate and we really need to see movement on the background checks the loan to ticketed events. Yeah we heard from house speaker Paul Ryan today for the first time on this he's been sort of quiet on in the week apartment with him back in session because it's hard to imagine congress moving without. The White House direction on this we know what the paralysis the stalemate around this is being you heard a bullet questioning in the briefing a few minutes ago about the chicken and egg problem that you. You happier here if the White House comments of the seat legislative text that legislators out of whack with don't have White House them. And tomorrow we do expect that Applebee's and bipartisan meeting with lawmakers over at the white necessary mentioned in the briefing perhaps there'll be some progress that's needed in front as far as determining curing more ideas that continues receives about what President Clinton and. I will say you know go back to the poll numbers you see 70% of Americans want stricter and the legislation gives you saw some students from. From heartland on Capitol Hill today you know this is this nation is the time worth it was the decisions not cops. So to be. Russia related headlines. That are that are popping today one is hope hicks is the long town longtime White House communications director. Poland to Capitol Hill to talk to the House Intelligence Committee. We're gonna talk about that minute I was really struck by something the NSA director. Will Mike Rodgers had to say earlier today he said. That they they have begin giving any new directives. In terms of confronting cyber warfare Russia that they have not been made on it he says he's waiting. Or directors from the White House take a look at what Jon Karl our colleague our chief White House correspondent. Say it was arson of kicking off today's briefing a few minutes ago. The one that would have the agency could actually go and fruits or intrusion the source and he hasn't been given authority in fact. He says it that are the Russians however it is sufficient price to make them change their behavior he's don't want. Power companies to do it all of its is a presidential directive before. You have come to your question it's it's not just one individual. It's looking at a number of different ways these charges cyber and one Indian born. Nobody is denying him the authority we're looking at a number of different ways that we can put pressure look this president as I told you last week has been. Much tougher on Russia than his predecessor let's not forget that this happened under Obama it didn't happen under president. Try. And through the magic of television Jon Karl joins us now directly from out outside the White House John. You heard from a few from Mike Rogers is very clear on this he says he has not the authority that is some twisted logic from the White House that he hasn't been denied the authority and by the way it was Obama's fault. Yeah I I tell you I don't think big quite had the answer down on this because is as I went on debt ask. Okay this isn't about the past it's about our next election Rogers was very clear that the threat is real that the Russians have not been deterred any way. Often trying to medal again and he has not been given the authority was crystal clear to go at the Russians at the source. And he says without that authority. From the from the Pentagon through the you know through. For the president through the Pentagon he cannot do that. So. I don't know I mean did she say look we have lot of different things that you do shipments of some meetings that are gonna Evans and various other measures but. He's the guy that ultimately has the control of cyber command and the national. A security agents. Wrong and he he's the one that can do. This and we should note a few things one is the 28 elections already begun early voting is already started in primaries have got the Texas elections next week we have an election tonight Arizona. Another big one Pennsylvania the couple weeks it's happening right now and we've heard from all government officials and and and congressional officials the Russians are still attic they're still trying to do this up. And I think the broader piece of this John is the the with a weight that this White House has handled all things Russia not imposing those sanctions despite that that the major congressional support it doesn't seem like from the president himself. That there is that sort of urgency once again today he's back on the on Twitter talking about witch hunts and it regarding the Mueller. There's been very tough talk from members of his administration including. At the podium sister Sanders yourself as has been pretty tough on them on the Russians at time his secretary of state Rex Tillerson. We've we've heard. The administration. Sounded tough line against the president against Russia and in some cases actually. Take some tough actions against Russia but nothing from the president himself and then on the big questions. Doing salting. More aggressively. To to combat Russian interference in the elections. Imposing those sanctions that congress already passed and given the present or to do so and they haven't acted it is it is a bit of it is admit that a mystery. And finally John before we let you go hope hicks was on Capitol Hill today we heard according to our our colleague Ben Siegel that the verb was the that Bannon. They felt ban and stiffed in India in in committee and with with now a lot of answers actually emanating. From hope picks at this is still the White House is still not figured out quite other handling this question of privilege but it doesn't seem like. Administration officials current White House officials are giving very much at all up on Capitol Hill when they're asked about anything revolving involving the the various investigation. If Bennett was the vanguard on this banning. What was the first to go in there have been many. You know senior people this White House have gone before the committees and answer questions when bandit was called. He refused to answer questions. About what he did in the White House and during the transition citing. Not quite executive privilege but reserving the White House is ability to invoke. Executive privilege in consultation with a White House lawyers and now apparently hope X is done and although we asked. We asked sir Sanders had there been a director from the White House Amy Hoak hope could not answer the questions and she did not. Answer that but it appears it that she did the exact same thing is pretty important thing here though Rick as you know. Fannie and answered questions extensively. In terms of the Mueller investigation. And so has hope hicks. That is where the really old. That's with a real fire and this is is because they cannot invoke executive privilege when it comes to the mall or investigation. So they can avoid questions before the committees they cannot avoid the questions lest they want to come out and take the fifth they cannot avoid questions. From. From smaller but now. And Jon Karl formally now no one is denying you the right to go back inside that briefing room and Inco prepare for world news tonight so that just let that be don't know what is known as keeping you from that earned thank you there. At all right good luck. Thanks to I wanna hit just briefly John Parkinson on on this point of of hope hicks because I feel like the it is it's a lot of anticipation around as of the silly once once before. What was the sense walking the halls today about the answers they did or didn't get from the white. Three cases are. Gaddis talking to a couple members you know throughout the day has as they were leading that committee hearing. They're really disappointed I think that they weren't shocked by any means but. Really two have the chance to answer questions and it in the close I mean they were hopeful that hope picks would. Be forthcoming. It sounds like from what all the intelligence that we're getting out of the Intel committee is that really she has not been today. All right John parts of the capital thanks for being here today. Guys as I mentioned it is reelection announcement sort of this is a strange wanna so many ways first of all we should note it's twenty team. It's if the long before even the mid terms and when you sort of kick up in the presidential like you're president actually filed for reelection on the day of his inauguration. But now we can't editor and his name is Brad parts cal maybe not a household name although fewer follow political news you're pretty familiar with the guy that ran regional operations for Donald Trump. Very close to Jared Kushner earned a spot in the inner circle well first of all on that what you will like today white now European. It's a weird. Why is that correct report shocking announcement current and not know what that is running for. Residents began as we aren't keen interest in and that record snow would be ready. He was. Mastermind behind that digital operation which was really credited with. Healthy try and secure that victory but it's not clear why today Frederick resent my team. I was the day to tell them. And ethically this the president has been running for election pretty much since day one we must at least held. Campaign rallies like he said he filed you know 20/20 paperwork at the inauguration this is. Yes imagine as a. Part of some kind of an African continent to quell some questions out there. John case it was just on on on this week though it was Jon Karl. Talking about potentially running for president we know we don't internally the White House's all the backed by all the fine print looks like the president is putting its stake they. Brett my guy. Gotta go through him and we'll see it. I'm young wonders if this comes first payment rate last of the voting. In the primaries in Hampshire and Iowa aren't guys innocent for a landing today Johnny overtly. Bull. Today is today's astronauts and there's an election Arizona there's potential that this seat just vacated our present and franks. Could turn into a competitive race not him from the general election you're not a Republican candidate there might win that. Content that the scandal now so I think that's going to be. He wrestled watched. I left and in my has also on the accident scene we knew that trump would be seeking reelection and today we learn something we already knew that Bob Corker is not going to Toronto to. For reelection he decided against it didn't kind of asked whether he should mediate. And her back into the Tennessee race decided against it you know later pretty but wouldn't it really nasty fight with Marsha Blackburn one of those years. We are his days where the president still running and buffalo are still not running back all of them equaled his. To meet Russia Russia's rough and it might rockers warning is an alarm bell. About what is going on right now Johnny and you're also let the bones happenings like this is threatening. And there's a lot of concerns or even inside the truck mystery be handled pretty. That does it for this edition of Reading room for public life science I'm Rick Klein please download the ABC news act and we will be back here next time that there's a great thing right here on the previous.

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

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