President Donald Trump may think the Russian election-interference investigation is "fake news," but as CNN's White House correspondent Jim Acosta pointed out following the latest news from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, that belief might be "alternative facts."
"The president appeared to be blind-sided by perhaps the biggest bombshell of the day, the plea deal with former campaign adviser George Papadopoulos," Acosta said at the beginning of his segment on The Situation Room. "A story the president has called 'fake news' got very real for the White House today."
Around the time that news of Papadopoulos' guilty plea for to lying to federal investigators broke, Trump tweeted regarding the indictment of another of his former aides -- one-time campaign chairman Paul Manafort, whose financial ties to the Kremlin have been the subject of scrutiny for months.
"Sorry, but this is years ago, before Paul Manafort was part of the Trump campaign," the president tweeted. "But why aren't Crooked Hillary & the Dems the focus?????"
Later in the segment, Acosta said that rather than being "nervous" about what may happen now that Mueller's investigation is heating up, many in the White House appear defiant.
"I'm also sensing a good deal of defiance," Acosta told host Wolf Blitzer. He said he'd spoken recently to a source close to the White House who claimed those within the administration "view what happened today as a distraction."
"It's sort of an incredible take-away on all of this," the White House correspondent said. "It may be delusional to view all of this as a distraction. As we can tell this evening, Wolf, the distraction is only getting bigger and bigger."
Watch the White House correspondent's assessment of the Trump administration's response to the Mueller indictments below, via CNN.