White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters Friday that President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin had an hour-long call during which they discussed world news and special counsel Robert Mueller’s report.
She said that they discussed the special counsel’s findings “very, very briefly” and “in the context of that it’s over and there was no collusion, which I’m pretty sure both leaders were very well aware of long before this call took place, something we’ve said for the better part of two and a half years.”
She allowed that the two leaders discussed Mueller’s findings that Russians interfered in U.S. elections but that “the conversation on that part was very quick,” before launching into an attack on the Obama administration for not doing enough to prevent foreign election hacking.
Sanders also dodged a question about whether Trump has instructed former White House Council Don McGahn, a key witness in the redacted Mueller report, not to comply with congressional requests. She said that she was “not aware of a formal conversation on that front.”
Trump addressed the question more directly in press conference later on Friday, saying that he’d decide “over the next week or so” if he’d try to extend executive privilege over McGahn’s testimony.
The question of whether he can wield his executive privilege in this way is unclear and muddied by the fact that McGahn is now a private citizen. But the President’s case is probably weakened given that Democrats would question McGahn on testimony he already gave to Mueller, and is thus unprivileged.
Watch the gaggle via C-SPAN here.
- -Hiring More Journalists
- -Providing free memberships to those who cannot afford them
- -Supporting independent, non-corporate journalism