Press Secretary Sarah Sanders Says Mueller Probe ‘Undermines Our Relationship With Russia’

Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

President Donald Trump’s Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders took a critical tone on Friday, suggesting that the continuation of an investigation into Russia’s meddling in our nation’s elections in 2016 is hurting our relationship with that country.

Using rhetoric that is similar to how the president labels the investigation, Sanders blasted the investigation as a “witch hunt” and suggested it was an illegitimate “hoax.”

“The Russian Witch Hunt Hoax, which is hopefully now nearing an end, is doing very well,” Sanders said, according to reporting from NBC News. “Unfortunately, it probably does undermine our relationship with Russia.”

The comments come a day after the Trump administration announced it would not be meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin during the G20 summit in Argentina, as was originally planned. Per previous reporting from the Inquisitr, many questioned whether the cancellation of that meeting had to do with several revelations made on Thursday regarding the Russia investigation being led by special counsel Robert Mueller.

But Sanders went on to say in her statement that the Russia investigation played no role in the White House’s decision to cancel a meeting between Trump and Putin.

“[T]he reason for our canceled meeting is Ukraine,” Sanders said, referring to a situation involving a naval fleet from that nation being taken captive by Russian forces. “Hopefully, that will be resolved soon so that productive conversations can begin.”

Several aspects of the Russia investigation made headlines on Thursday, most of them putting Trump in a poor light in terms of what the investigation has revealed or the direction it is now heading in.

Trump’s former “fixer” lawyer, for instance, appeared in federal court to plead guilty to lying to Congress during sworn testimony. Previously, Cohen had said that negotiations between the Trump Organization and the Russian government to build a Trump Tower in Moscow had ended before the Iowa caucuses, when in fact those negotiations lasted at least up to the point when Trump officially became the Republican Party’s nominee for president.

Trump categorically denied the allegations made by Cohen and called him a liar. Trump’s personal lawyer, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, echoed those sentiments.

“He’s a proven liar who is doing everything he can to get out of a long-term prison sentence for serious crimes of bank and tax fraud that had nothing to do with the Trump Organization,” Giuliani said, according to reporting from ABC News.