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Sarah Sanders, Conway Defend Trump Actions on Russia

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By    |   Tuesday, 30 January 2018 09:54 AM

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders and presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway, appearing on morning talk shows to discuss President Donald Trump's first State of the Union address, faced questions about decisions being made by the administration on Russian meddling, following the announcement Monday that a list of sanctions against Russia will not be enforced at this time.

Conway, appearing on CNN's "New Day" program, would not answer directly why the decision was made, saying it was the choice of the State and Treasury departments, while Sanders, on NBC's "Today" show, insisted the administration has been "as transparent as possible" when it comes to special counsel Robert Mueller's continuing investigation.

"I think the people that are frustrated most isn't the president, it's the American people," Sanders told Today co-host Savannah Guthrie. "They're sick and tired of being inundated with Russian fever. They're focused on us moving forward and that's what the president is trying to do."

Sanders' comments came after Guthrie asked her why President Donald Trump has gone "after all of the Justice Department officials" connected to the ongoing investigation.

"He hasn't gone after the special counsel," said Sanders. "We have volunteered thousands upon thousands of documents. Over 20 different individuals have done interviews. We have been transparent as possible."

However, she said that some of the people who have been targeted, including departing assistant FBI Director Andrew McCabe, were only investigating, the probe would have ended by now.

"Time and time again, the only thing that has come out of these and every single time after interviews, after reviewing records, the one thing they that come back to is no, we haven't found anything yet," said Sanders.

She also denied that Trump spurred the special investigation by firing FBI Director James Comey.

"I think the actions of Director Comey and certainly every day since his firing we have seen more and more reason he shouldn't have been the head of the FBI," Sanders said.

"It's turned out that he was leaking information. I think the president made the right decision. And for us to go back and try to re-create history is just simply not possible. Again, I think that it has been very clear time and time again there's absolutely no collusion whatsoever with the president or this administration. We're ready to move on."

Meanwhile, Conway complained to CNN's "New Day" host Chris Cuomo about the network's focus on the Russia investigation, after he pointed out to her that Congress, "in a bizarre event of untold unity" voted for the sanctions against Russia by 98-2.

"They come to the White House, you guys don't put them into effect," said Cuomo. "A Russian jet coming within 5 feet of a Navy plane. This president talks about Jay-Z, doesn't talk about that. Why so soft on Russia?"

"He talks about plenty," said Conway. "He's not soft on Russia."

On Monday, the Trump administration released a list of 114 Russian politicians and 96 "oligarchs" who have flourished under President Vladimir Putin to fulfill a congressional demand that the United States punish Moscow for its interference in the election.

However, the administration announced it would not take action on the sanctions. Conway said the administration is working hard on big issues, such as ISIS and a nuclearized North Korea, "which is everybody's business."

"What did they do in the election?" she argued with Cuomo about Russia.

"They tried to disrupt our democracy and doing it right now," he replied.

"Do you think that's why he won and why the person whose name I never mention on TV lost?" she said. "I think you going there by default explains why there's such resistance. Leave it alone. He won. Punish them [Democrats] for what they did."

She also told Cuomo that the State and Treasury departments made their "independent determinations" on the sanctions, and "you have to read that and respect it."

The State of the Union, Conway insisted, is "strong, safe, and should be proud." She further encouraged Cuomo to focus on the stories that will be told during Trump's first State of the Union address.

"We should look at these stories tonight, the welder from Ohio coming to talk about what the tax cut means to him," said Conway. "You should talk to the people who think Nancy Pelosi is as out of touch as the deplorable comment was."

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White House press secretary Sarah Sanders and presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway, appearing on morning talk shows to discuss President Donald Trump's first State of the Union address, faced questions about decisions being made by the administration. . .
white house, conway, trump, russia, probe
Tuesday, 30 January 2018 09:54 AM
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