WASHINGTON — White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders pushed back Wednesday against the notion that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia and said that that the only evidence of collusion lies with the Democrats and Ukraine.
Sanders added that if people “want to talk about having relationships with Russia look no further than the Clintons.”
“If there’s been any evidence of collusion in 2016 that has been discussed it would be between the DNC and the Ukrainian government,” she said at a White House press briefing. The answer came after a question related to the release of emails that showed Donald Trump Jr. was willing to accept damaging information on Hillary Clinton from the Russian government.
She pointed to a story written in January by Politico, which described direct cooperation between a Democratic operative and the Ukrainian government. The operative, Alexandra Chalupa, met with Ukrainian officials to get dirt on Paul Manafort, which was subsequently passed on to the Democratic National Committee.
“Information passed to the DNC from the Ukranian government directly targeted members of the Trump campaign in an attempt to undermine it and that was just Ukraine,” Sanders said. She then pointed to the infamous dossier that was published by BuzzFeed, which, among other things, alleged that the president had sexual relations with Russian prostitutes.
She said that this was funded by the “president’s political opponents.” The dossier was created by Fusion GPS, which was started by an anti-Trump Republican and later received money from Clinton allies. The exact donors to the group are unknown.
“The only collusion I’ve seen, and that’s certainly been proven, would be between those people,” Sanders stated. She later was asked about why several people in the Trump administration have had “amnesia” regarding contact with Russians.
“Look, I think if you want to talk about having relationships with Russia, I’d look no further than the Clintons,” Sanders said. “Bill Clinton was paid half a million dollars to give a speech to a Russian bank, personally thanked by President Putin. Hillary Clinton allowed one-fifth of America’s uranium reserve to be sold to a Russian firm whose investors were Clinton Foundation donors.”
She added: “The Clinton campaign chairman’s brother lobbied against sanctions on Russia’s largest bank and failed to report it. I think if we’re looking at Russia relations with anybody, it would be directly with the Clintons.”