CNN’s Jim Acosta grilled White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Monday with a pointed question about Trump campaign officials’ contacts with Russian government officials throughout the 2016 presidential campaign about obtaining Hillary Clinton’s missing private server emails.
Acosta noted that former campaign aide George Papadopoulos allegedly reached out directly to Russian government officials throughout 2016 in an effort to set up meetings between them and the Trump campaign, while also noting that three top campaign officials — Paul Manafort, Jared Kushner and Donald Trump Jr. — actually took a meeting that was billed as part of the Russian government’s efforts to help bring down Clinton’s candidacy.
“How is it not collusion when George Papadopoulos is in contact with various people who are promising dirt on Hillary Clinton in a series of events that closely mirrors what occurred with the president’s own son?” he asked. “How is all of that not collusion.”
Sanders insisted that Papadopoulos was a member of a volunteer advisory council that only met once and had no paid role within the campaign, while glossing over the actual meeting that occurred between even higher campaign officials and Russian government officials in Trump Tower in June 2016.
When asked about that later in the briefing, Sanders insisted that it was only one meeting between Trump campaign officials and Russian officials, while trying to say that Clinton’s campaign was actually involved in colluding with Russia.
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