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 TrumpSocial media explodes over Avenatti arrest Mueller targets Stone in final push Robert De Niro says goodbye to ‘Jeff Sessions’ on ‘Saturday Night Live’ MORE was ”treasonous." 

Sanders criticized Bannon, who is quoted in excerpts of a new book on President TrumpDonald John TrumpMeet the lawyer Democrats call when it's recount time Avenatti denies domestic violence allegations: 'I have never struck a woman' Trump names handbag designer as ambassador to South Africa 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 KushnerTrump throws support behind criminal justice bill Trump says he will decide Nielsen's fate 'shortly' McConnell outlines hurdles to criminal justice reform MORE and then-campaign chairman Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortMueller asks for delay in Gates sentencing: filing Mueller targets Stone in final push 5 things to know about new acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker MORE met with a Russian lawyer they’d been told could offer dirt on then-Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonMeet the lawyer Democrats call when it's recount time Overnight Defense — Presented by Raytheon — Mattis defends border deployment during visit to troops | Bolton aide exits WH after clash with first lady | House blocks Yemen war resolution | Report warns of erosion in US military superiority Exit polls show more women breaking with Republicans 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.