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.Don TrumpHow Trump uses fundraising emails to remain undisputed leader of the GOP Donald Trump Jr. joins Cameo Book claims Trump family members were 'inappropriately' close with Secret Service agents MORE was ”treasonous."
Sanders criticized Bannon, who is quoted in excerpts of a new book on President TrumpDonald TrumpYoungkin ad features mother who pushed to have 'Beloved' banned from son's curriculum White House rejects latest Trump claim of executive privilege Democrats say GOP lawmakers implicated in Jan. 6 should be expelled 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 attacks Meghan McCain and her family McCain: Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner had 'no goddamn business' attending father's funeral Hillicon Valley — Presented by LookingGlass — Hackers are making big money MORE and then-campaign chairman Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortYellen should utilize the resources available before pushing new regulations Huawei paid Tony Podesta 0K for White House lobbying FBI agents swarm Russian oligarch's DC home MORE met with a Russian lawyer they’d been told could offer dirt on then-Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonSuper PACs release ad campaign hitting Vance over past comments on Trump I voted for Trump in 2020 — he proved to be the ultimate RINO in 2021 Neera Tanden tapped as White House staff secretary 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.