White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders lambasted the media on Tuesday for being "misleading" with their "false narrative" about Russian collusion with President Donald Trump's campaign.
A reporter asked Sanders about the letter in which Donald Trump, Jr. disclosed information about his meeting in June 2016 with a Russian lawyer, a meeting that has attracted significant criticism. A Washington Post report revealed on Monday that the letter was in fact dictated by President Trump.
Sanders responded by turning the question to how the media has framed the ongoing story.
"I think what the bigger question is, everybody wants to try to make this some story about misleading. The only thing I see misleading is a year's worth of stories that have been fueling a false narrative about this Russia collusion and a phony scandal based on anonymous sources," she said. "And I think that is, if we're going to talk about misleading, that's the only thing misleading I see in this entire process."
"You guys are focused on a meeting that Don Jr. had, no consequence, when the Democrats actually colluded with a foreign government like Ukraine; the Democrat-linked firm Fusion GPS actually took money from the Russian government while it created the phony dossier that's been the basis for all of the Russia scandal fake news," Sanders added.
Sanders was in part referring to the media's failure to cover testimony tying Fusion GPS, the consulting firm, to the Russian government as well as the discredited dossier from former British spy Christopher Steele.
She also attacked the media for failing to discuss Bill and Hillary Clinton's connections to Russia.
"If you want to talk further about our relationship with Russia, look no further than the Clintons," Sanders said. "Bill Clinton was paid half a million dollars to give a speech to a Russian bank and was personally thanked by by [Vladimir] Putin for it. Hillary Clinton allowed one-fifth of America's uranium reserve to be sold to a Russian firm whose investors were Clinton Foundation donors, and the Clinton campaign chairman's brother lobbied against sanctions on Russia's largest bank and failed to report it."
The Washington Free Beacon has previously reported on connections between the Russian government and the Clinton Foundation.
Sanders lastly emphasized the claim that President Trump is the one who should really be considered tough on Russia.
"If you want to talk about somebody who's actually been tough on Russia, look at president Trump. He wants more fracking, more coal, more energy, a stronger military, a stronger defense. Those things aren't good for Russia," Sanders said. "I think the distinctions are very clear and you guys want to create a narrative that just doesn't exist."
EDITOR'S NOTE: Prior to October 27, 2017, the Washington Free Beacon published several articles referencing the research firm Fusion GPS that did not disclose the relationship between Fusion GPS and the Washington Free Beacon. The reason for this omission is that the authors of these articles, and the particular editors who reviewed them, were unaware of this relationship.
The articles in question tended to be aggregated stories relying on the reporting done by other media outlets. This type of article undergoes a different editorial process from the original investigative pieces that appear on our website. Beginning today, all articles referencing Fusion GPS will mention its history with the Washington Free Beacon. The Free Beacon is also reviewing its editorial process with respect to aggregated news sources to consider ways to avoid similar issues in the future. We regret the error.