WH: Any Evidence of Collusion That Actually Took Place Was Between DNC and Ukranian Gov't

By Melanie Arter | July 12, 2017 | 6:45 PM EDT

White House Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders (CNSNews.com/Melanie Arter)

(CNSNews.com) - The White House on Wednesday reacted to FBI Director nominee Christopher Wray's comments during his Senate confirmation hearing regarding the Russia probe, saying the president's position has not changed.

Under questioning from Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Wednesday, Wray said he does not consider the investigation into Russian interference regarding the Trump campaign "a witch hunt."

 



White House Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said President Donald Trump "has made extremely clear his position on that, and it certainly has not changed." 

As CNSNews.com previously reported, the president tweeted in May that the appointment of a special counsel to investigate Russian influence in the 2016 election is "the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history."

Trump still believes the Russia investigation is a witch hunt, "because the president knows very specifically any action or inaction that he has taken," Sanders said.

When asked if that includes members of the Trump campaign, Sanders said, "Look, I think we've been extremely clear, and I know Don Jr. was and discussed it at length last night, as did the president's personal counsel over the last couple of days and have walked through that very detailed."

Sanders said any collusion that took place during the election happened between the Democratic National Committee and Ukraine.

"I think if there's been any evidence of collusion in 2016 that's come out at all or been discussed that's actually happened, it would be between the DNC and the Ukrainian government," she said.

"I don't often quote the New York Times, but even one of their reporters tweeted earlier today that -- why this example provides evidence of collusion: 'Cooperation was between DNC officials and officials from the Ukrainian government, not just some associate,'" Sanders said.

"Ukrainian actions to coordinate with the DNC was actually successful, unlike anything shown by Don Jr.'s emails," she said. "Information passed to the DNC from the Ukrainian government directly targeted members of the Trump campaign in an attempt to undermine it, and that was just Ukraine.  

"The other big news was the foreign intelligence dossier that the president's political opponents funded and disseminated widely and was based on discredited opposition research from foreign intelligence sources. The only collusion I've seen, and that's certainly been proven, would be between those people," Sanders said.

According to a January 11 Politico article, Ukrainian officials tried to help the Hillary Clinton campaign by publicly questioning Trump's fitness for office. They even helped Clinton allies dig up dirt on Trump and his advisers.

According to the report, a Ukrainian-American who worked for the Clinton campaign "met with top officials in the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington in an effort to expose ties between Trump, top campaign aide Paul Manafort and Russia, according to people with direct knowledge of the situation."

As a result of the Ukrainian-American's efforts, Manafort was forced to resign, "advancing the narrative that Trump’s campaign was deeply connected to Ukraine’s foe to the east, Russia."

Adrienne Watson, a spokesperson for the DNC, denied the allegations, telling CNN, the claims are "false, period."