White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders rebuked mainstream media reporters for being “completely obsessed” with the ongoing probe into Russia’s interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election while minimizing the important topics that the American people “care a lot more about.”
Sanders accused the media of being out of touch with the concerns of average Americans by devouring Monday’s news that Paul Manafort — President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager — and Manafort’s associate, Richard Gates, were indicted as part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
In addition, the media salivated over the news that George Papadopoulos, an unofficial Trump campaign adviser, pleaded guilty earlier in the month to issuing false statements to the FBI regarding his interactions with Russian officials.
“You guys seem completely obsessed with this, while there are things happening around the country — and, frankly, a lot of other things — that people care a lot more about,” Sanders chided. “The media refuses to cover that, and I think that’s the distraction.”
“Instead of the focus being constantly on tax cuts and tax reform, my guess is if you look at the records, the questions that I’ve taken here day in and out have far more to do with an investigation that, frankly, most Americans don’t care too much about it ,and a whole lot less to do with policies that actually impact them,” Sanders continued.
Both Manafort and Gates were slapped with charges pertaining to actions that began in 2006 and continued through 2016. None of the charges, however, tied the two men to Russian collusion-related activities.
But that didn’t stop reporters on Monday and Tuesday from attempting to corner the White House on the issue of the Trump campaign’s “collusion activities.”
“And also, how is it not collusion when George Papadopoulos is in contact with various people who are promising dirt on Hillary Clinton — a series of events that closely mirrors what occurred with the President’s own son … in pursuit of information that was damaging about the Clintons?” CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta had asked Monday. “How is all of that not collusion?
In response, Sanders had replied, “[Papadopoulos] was not paid by the campaign, he was a volunteer on a — again, a council that met once … Again, he was a volunteer. I think that’s something you need to ask him. I’m not here to speak on behalf of the thousands of people that may have volunteered on the campaign.”