Jul 18, 2018

Sanders: Trump believes Russia still a threat

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

At Wednesday's press briefing, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said that President Trump responded "no" to taking questions in a press conference earlier that day — not to the question of whether he believes Russia is still targeting U.S. elections.

Why it matters: When asked whether Trump does believe that Russia is an ongoing threat to the U.S.'s election security, Sanders said, "[h]e does believe they would target U.S. elections again" adding, "certainly, we believe that the threat still exists." When pressed on why Trump has seemingly reversed his position on this issue twice this week, Sanders said that she was "interpreting" the president not "reversing" his position.

Other takeaways:

  • Sanders acknowledged that Putin talked to Trump about being able to question former U.S. ambassador Michale McFaul and foreign investor Bill Browder, but said that no commitment had been made. "The President will work with his team and we’ll let you know if there’s an announcement on that front.”
  • She did not directly answer the question of whether Trump believes Russia's attempts to interfere in U.S. elections are attacks on U.S. democracy.
  • "Trump has been extremely tough on Russia and to say anything else is simply not true," she argued.
  • "The president has made clear to Vladimir Putin that he should stay out of U.S. elections."
  • On Trump's comments about "others" who could have meddled in the 2016 elections: "We are aware of others that have made attempts, but I can’t get into any of that here at this point."
  • As to whether there was a recorder in the Putin-Trump meeting: "I'm not aware of one."

Go deeper

NASCAR driver Ryan Newman hospitalized after fiery Daytona 500 crash

Ryan Newman, driver of the #6 Koch Industries Ford, crashes and flips during the NASCAR Cup Series 62nd Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida, on Monday. Photo: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Racing driver Ryan Newman was hospitalized in a serious condition with non-life threatening injuries after his car crashed at the Daytona 500 on Monday, NASCAR said in a statement.

The big picture: The 42-year-old was leading the final lap of the race, won by Denny Hamlin, when his car flipped in the fiery crash. President Trump tweeted after the crash, "Praying for Ryan Newman, a great and brave @NASCARdriver!"

Go deeper: Trump takes presidential limousine for lap at Daytona 500

Bolton indicates more Ukraine details if book prevails WH "censorship"

Former National Security Adviser John Bolton on stage at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, on Monday. Photo: Melissa Sue Gerrits/Getty Images

Former National Security Adviser John Bolton said during a talk at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina he hopes his new book is "not suppressed" by the White House, according to journalists present in the room.

This is an effort to write history and I did it the best I can. We'll have to see what comes out of the censorship."
Bolton's comments, per Bloomberg and the New York Times

There are warning signs that Nevada could be Iowa all over again

Former Sen. Harry Reid (D) lines up to cast an early vote for the upcoming Nevada Democratic presidential caucus. Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The alarms are increasingly sounding over Nevada's Democratic caucus, which is just five days away.

Why it matters: Similar issues to the ones that plagued Iowa's caucus seem to be rearing their ugly heads, the WashPost reports.