CNN fact-checks White House briefing in real time

Nov 01, 2017, 00:34
CNN fact-checks White House briefing in real time

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said today that indictments handed down by special counsel Robert Mueller have "nothing to do" with President Trump or his campaign. The special counsel tasked with investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election as well as potential collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin released a statement which says that Papadopoulos "pleaded guilty on October 5, 2017, to making false statements to Federal Bureau of Investigation agents, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1001".

CNN's "Facts First" feature came a day after Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, was charged with 12 counts, including conspiracy against the United States, tax fraud and money laundering, in one of the first indictments to come from Mueller's probe.

Papadopoulos, who is 30 years old, joined the Trump campaign in early March 2016 as a foreign adviser.

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Mr. Papadopoulos's offers were repeatedly rebuffed by the campaign, although one official told him to go to Russian Federation in order to gather dirt about Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

Speaking of Papadopoulos's role, she said: "It was extremely limited, it was a volunteer position".

"Today's announcement has nothing to do with the president, has nothing to do with the president's campaign", Sander said. The plea details his conversations with campaign officials in trying to set up a meeting between Russian nationals with someone in the Trump campaign-though it's not clear Papadopoulos was ever successful or even taken very seriously by his superiors.

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"It has nothing to do with the campaign, it has to do with his failure to tell the truth".

"What Papadopoulos did was lie and that's on him, not the campaign", said Mrs. Sanders. And he was part of a list that was read out in the Washington Post.

The White House press secretary also insisted the president has "no intention or plan to make any changes in regards to special counsel".

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A White House reporter asked Sanders if her previous comments, where she expressed her belief that the investigation will be wrapped up "soon", were "wishful thinking" or "spin".

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