Border crisis 'can't be denied or ignored anymore': WH press secretary Sarah Sanders

On "This Week," George Stephanopoulos interviews White House press secretary Sarah Sanders.
8:34 | 04/14/19

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Transcript for Border crisis 'can't be denied or ignored anymore': WH press secretary Sarah Sanders
white house press secretary Sarah Sanders. Thank you for joining us again. Where does this idea stand right now? Look, this is an option on the table. I mean, we talked about a number of different things over the last two years that we'd love to see happen. Certainly, this would not be our first choice, ideally we wouldn't have been dealing with the massive influx illegal immigrants coming across the border. The crisis that we have both from a national security and humanitarian crisis if Democrats would step up and help the president fix the laws. This could all go away. That would be the best thing for the country and the best way to solve this crisis. And fix this problem. But Sarah -- The Democrats continue to be unwilling to do that, then we'll look at all of our options. We don't want to put all of the burden on one or two border communities. And Democrats have stated time and time again, they support open borders and sanctuaries. Let's put it in some other locations. But as you know, when this story broke on Thursday, white house officials said flatly that the idea had been rejected. President trump called the former homeland security secretary Nielsen and she told him that it's simply not legal. How can you continue to push this? Look, we have -- that was brought up at a staff level. And it was determined at that time that logistically, there were a lot of challenges and and move forward -- Not just logistically. Legally. We're looking to see if there are options that make it possible. Doing it in a full and thorough and extensive review. The president likes the idea and Democrats have said they want these individuals in their communities. Let's see if it works and everybody gets a win out of it. Again, this is not the ideal situation. The ideal solution is real simple -- it's for congress, particularly Democrats in congress to sit down with the president, do their jobs and help us stop this awful crisis that's taking place at our border. It can't be denied or ignored anymore. Democrats including Obama's secretary from homeland security are now acknowledging that this is a crisis. They can either deal with it at the border and stop it from getting worse or they're going to have to take on some of that burden in that communities if that becomes an option. Again, that's not our first choice, probably not even our second, third choice, we have to look at all options. I don't understand why the president's attracted to it at all. It actually could encourage more immigrants. It would be easy for these migrants to put down roots in the U.S. In sanctuary cities. It seems to run counter to his objective. Again, this isn't the president's plan. His top priority is to stop the flow of illegal immigration coming into our country to begin with. Democrats and courts frankly keep tying the president's hands and stopping him from being able to do that. We have a massive number of people that are already here. We need to take away some of that burden on all of the communities that are along the board, like San Diego and el Paso, and look at other options. Again, not our first choice. Ideally, congress would fix the problem. They continue to kick the can down the road and not deal with the problem in front of him. They continue to attack the president on these baseless and taxpayer-funded investigations instead of doing what they were elected to do, and that's actually solve problems. We hope they'll find over the course of the next several days, weeks and months, to do their jobs and help the president solve real problems, whether it's this one, health care or whether it's the other a hundred things we're trying to work on they seem to want to continue to ignore. You know, CNN and "The new York Times" also reporting on his trip to the border last week, president trump urged the acting homeland security secretary to close the border and not let migrants in. According to CNN, the agents were told by their leaders they had to follow the law or they would be personal liable if they did what the president said. Homeland security officials were pretty alarmed by what they heard at the border last week. Homeland security pushed back as has the president. They both pushed back. Secretary Nielsen as well as the president. I don't know about you, George, but CNN isn't usually my first stop for a good source particularly not when it comes to this president. The president is actually the president trying to enforce laws not go around them. We're a country of laws and we have a president who supports that. He's not asking anybody to do anything outside of those bounds. In fact, he's asking congress to step up and give greater legal standing so that they can do more to stop this crisis. No one is trying to skirt the law and certainly not being encouraged by the president to do so. You took on CNN there. The president also took on the "The New York Times" last night in this tweet about this story. They never even called to check for the truth. Maggie has beenerman said they sent tweets that were acknowledged. Who's telling the truth? Look, the "The New York Times" regularly steps out of bounds. Even when we respond and tell them something is not true they still run with the story. I'm not sure the particular story that's in question on this front. But again, I'm going to take the word of the president versus CNN or "The New York Times." But "The New York Times" did call and check, correct? Again, I'm not sure about this particular story. I'd have to look back to see what story they're talking about. We do talk to them regularly and a lot of times we push back on a story and that's simply not enough for it. They like to run with anonymous sources. On a regular basis about this president. It's an unprecedented amount of negative coverage of not only them but a number of other outlets spend 90% of the coverage of this president is negative despite our country is doing extremely well. Our economy is booming. ISIS has been defeated in Syria. We have gotten rid of countless regulations that has made our energy-dominant country again. The country is doing extremely well. Yet, if you looked at the media and the coverage, you would think the whole place is falling apart. I think that's a real problem and certainly the president is going to continue to call out. The question is, whether or not. You would know that, George. The question is, who's telling the truth about whether or not they were contacted? I want to move on right now, the president has been sending out those tweets about congresswoman ilhan OMAR. Attacking her for how she characterized the 9/11 attacks. Included in that tweet the images of the towers burning. That has drawn a lot of criticism from Democrats including Nancy Pelosi. And this from former congressman Beto O'rourke. This is an incitement to violence. Against congressman OMAR. Against our fellow Americans who happen to be Muslim. She was subject to a death threat last week. Certainly the president is wishing no ill will and certainly not violence towards anyone. But the president is absolutely and should be calling out the congresswoman for her not only one-time but history of anti-semitic comments. The bigger question is, why aren't Democrats doing the same thing? They look the other way. I find her comments to be absolutely disgraceful and unbefitting of a member of congress. I think it's a good thing that the president is calling her out for those comments and the big question is, why aren't Democrats doing it as well? Not just doing it but doing it by name. These do these pushbacks. Sarah Sanders, thanks for your time this morning. You bet. Thanks so much, George. I appreciate it.

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

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