White House rips 'ridiculous accusation' that Trump Jr. meeting was 'treasonous'

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Wednesday blasted the "ridiculous accusation" attributed to former White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon that a 2016 meeting between a Russian lawyer and Donald Trump Jr.Donald (Don) John TrumpSan Francisco ethics official sues Secret Service over Trump Jr. trip to India Spicer slams Omarosa on WH recordings: 'She will do anything to further her own being' White House staff offered discounts at Trump's NJ golf club: report MORE was ”treasonous." 

Sanders criticized Bannon, who is quoted in excerpts of a new book on President TrumpDonald John TrumpGillibrand urges opposition to Kavanaugh: Fight for abortion rights 'is now or never' Trump claims tariffs on foreign nations will rescue US steel industry: report Bannon announces pro-Trump movie, operation team ahead of midterms: report MORE, during her press briefing, going on to add that Bannon had previously defended the president from charges of collusion with Russia during a September interview on CBS's "60 Minutes."

“That is a ridiculous accusation and one that I'm pretty sure we’ve addressed many times from here before. ... I'd refer you back to the comments he made previously on '60 Minutes' where he called the collusion with Russia about this president a total farce," she said. 


"Going after the president’s son and in an absolutely outrageous and unprecedented way is probably not the best way to curry favor with anybody," she added. 

The comments attributed to Bannon in "Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House," a forthcoming book by Michael Wolff, come in reference to a 2016 meeting where Trump Jr., Trump's son-in-law Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerOvernight Health Care: Lawsuit challenges Arkansas Medicaid work requirements | CVS program targets high-cost drugs | Google parent invests in ObamaCare startup Oscar Hillicon Valley: Omarosa drops bombshell claim about Trump, WikiLeaks | Dems turn up heat over fake FCC cyberattack | Uber hires ex-NSA official to improve security | FBI boosts cyber team Google parent invests 5M in ObamaCare startup Oscar MORE and then-campaign chairman Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortManfort's defense team works to raise doubt among jurors Jury to begin deliberations Thursday on Manafort Top Senate Intel Dem: Trump compiling a 'Nixonian enemies list' MORE met with a Russian lawyer they’d been told could offer dirt on then-Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonGillibrand urges opposition to Kavanaugh: Fight for abortion rights 'is now or never' Bannon announces pro-Trump movie, operation team ahead of midterms: report Fox News host hits Giuliani: Dossier isn't why Mueller probe was started MORE.

That meeting has become the center of intrigue as part of the investigation into allegations of collusion between Russian actors and Trump campaign officials. 

According to emails released by Trump Jr., a publicist reached out to say that the Russians had "offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate" Clinton. But Trump Jr. and others have contended that the Russians did not offer any such evidence and only sought to talk about adoption policy and easing sanctions on Russia. 

During her press conference, Sanders also denied another allegation from the book, where Bannon is quoted saying that he believes Trump Jr. would have brought the Russians upstairs to Trump's own office. 

"He wasn’t part of or aware of that," she said, repeating a past assertion that Trump only found out about the meeting well after the fact.