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White House Press Briefing; White House Defends Story. Aired 2- 2:30p ET

Aired May 11, 2017 - 14:00   ET


[14:00:00] TOM BOSSERT, HOMELAND SECURITY ADVISER: Attacks the United States. It's distributed denial of service attacks. That's going to require voluntarily cooperation among all the different owners and operators at different, privately held companies, from service providers to manufacturers of goods. And those things are going to have to happen voluntarily. And what the president calls for is for the government to provide the basis for that coordination. Without defining who's in and who's out, it's a voluntary operation. But we know that they have the technical capacity, if they have the will, to come together on behalf of the American people and reduce those botnets dramatically.

And the president's calling for them to do that. He's asking for his secretary of Homeland Security and secretary of Commerce to facilitate that. And what we thought we saw was reflections of a concern that there would be a compulsion. And I think that that's something that I can put to rest today. And that's why I poked on your question a little bit.

But then, if I could, the broader question of delay, I don't really much think that either. I think sometimes we've been criticized for doing things too quickly, and now maybe we're being criticized for doing things too slowly. So maybe I'm -


BOSSERT: Maybe I'm right - maybe I'm right in the middle of the - maybe I'm right in the middle of the sweet spot, I would argue, but I think the president has hit this timing perfectly, and I'll tell you three reasons why.

One of the block and tackle things that he directed us to do before the executive order was to get the money right. He's picked a cabinet full of people that know that business operations and business functions have to - have to follow first so that you can then provide policies that they implement, right? So policy sets direction and vision, but if you don't have the right money and back off this infrastructure and so forth to implement those things, well, then you have to either change your vision or change your amount of money.

And so just off the top of my head, I thought you might ask that question. The first I already preemptively answered, and that is that we kind of learn a lesson here that we don't want to innovate with policy on the innovation side and secure with policy on the security side without doing that in tandem. And you saw the president signed on Friday last, the technology council and he signed today the cybersecurity order and that was done intentionally.

And then lastly, in between now and then, the president's FY-18 budget allocated $819 million to DHS' cyber security budget alone. It dedicated an increase of $1.5 billion across all departments involved in protecting cyberspace. So, for my perspective, both his first budget request and his future ones have right sized and aligned that amount of money for keeping America safe and that might answer all three components of your question.

And with that, I know Sarah wants to pull me away. So, thank you so much for your time. Appreciate it.

QUESTION: Can you - can you please address concerns Americans might have about political motivations that these cybersecurity companies, like, for instance, you mentioned FaceBook, they're very political, or Crowd Strike, who is the -

SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, DEPUTY WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I'm sure - I'm sure he'll be happy to come back to questions later.

Thank you so much, Tom.

And, actually, he was wrong on one thing. I would gladly have let him stay up here and talk cyber security with you all day.

A few announcements and then, as promised, I will get to, I'm sure, all of your many pressing questions.

I'd like to announce that the president also just signed another executive order establishing the Bipartisan Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity. This will be chaired by Vice President Mike Pence. The president is committed to the thorough review of registration and voting issues in federal elections and that's exactly what this commission is tasked with doing. The bipartisan commission will be made up of around a dozen members, including current and former secretaries of state, with Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach serving as vice chair. It will also include individuals with knowledge and experience in elections, election management, election fraud detection, and voter integrity efforts. Five additional members have been announced as of today, Connie Lawson, the secretary of state of Indiana, Bill Gardner, secretary of state of New Hampshire, Matthew Dunlap, the secretary of state of Maine, Ken Blackwell, former secretary of state of Ohio, and Christy McCormick within a commissioner on Election Assistance Commission.

The commission will review policies and practices that enhance or undermine the American people's confidence in the integrity of federal elections and provide the president with a report that identifies system vulnerabilities that lead to improper registrations and voting. We expect the report will be complete by 2018. The experts and officials on this commission will follow the facts where they lead, meetings and hearings will be open to the public for comments and input and we will share those updates as we have them.

In cabinet news, Secretary Perdue is in Cincinnati, Ohio, today, to announce the Agriculture Department's plan for reorganizing to provide better service to the American people, as the president directed in his March 13th executive order. With the barges of the Ohio River behind him, many of which contain products that are beginning a journey that will ultimately take them to markets overseas, Secretary Purdue will announce a new mission area for trade and foreign agriculture affairs, recognizing the growing importance of international trade to the agriculture sector of the economy.

The United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement will hold a press conference at 2:15 today, probably not too far away, to announce the results of a highly successful recent gang surge operation. The president has made enforcement of our nation's immigration laws a top priority and today's announcement will underscore not only that commitment, but his focus on targeting transnational gangs and prioritizing the removal of criminal aliens who pose a threat to public safety.

[14:05:15] Also today, Secretary Mattis met with the Turkish prime minister in London to discuss a range of bilateral security issues and the secretary reiterated the United States' commitment to protecting our NATO ally and both leaders affirmed their support for peace and stability in Iraq and Syria.

One other thing I wanted to point out. Last night, Obamacare suffered another serious blow as Aetna announced its decision to pull out of the Nebraska and Delaware market places, which ends their participation in exchanges completely. They've sustained hundreds of millions of dollars over the last several years and is projected to lose more than $200 million in 2017. The company attributes those losses to structural issues within the exchanges, quote, "that have led to co-op failures and carrier exits in subsequent risk pool deterioration," end quote. This latest news adds to the mountain of evidence that Obamacare has completely failed the American people and reinforces why there is no time to waste in repealing and replacing this law before it takes our entire health care system down with it.

Finally, I know we - hold those hands. I know we sent out a timeline regarding the former - the firing of former Director Comey yesterday because there seemed to be some misperceptions about the meeting between the president and the attorney general and the deputy attorney general on Monday. But I'm going to read it to you all again just to make sure we're all on the same page because I want the sequence of events to be perfectly clear to everyone.

The president, over the last several months, lost confidence in Director Comey. After watching Director Comey's testimony last Wednesday, the president was strongly inclined to remove him. On Monday, the president met with the attorney general and the deputy attorney general, and they discussed reasons for removing the director. The next day, Tuesday, May 9th, the deputy attorney general sent his written recommendation to the attorney general and the attorney general sent his written recommendation to the president.

Hopefully that clears up some of those things.

And with that, I will take your questions. Steve Holland (ph).

QUESTION: Sarah, why did the Lester Holt interview the president just had, made a number of remarks, why did the president think that James Comey was a showboat and a grandstander?

SANDERS: I think probably based on the numerous appearances that he made and I think that it's probably pretty evident in his behavior over the last year or so with the back and forth and - I think that it speaks pretty clearly. Those words don't leave a lot of room for interpretation, so I think it's pretty clear what he meant.

QUESTION: One more. When were these three conversations that the president had with James Comey about whether he was under investigation. He said one was at dinner, two phone calls. Was that since January 20th or when?

SANDERS: That's my understanding, but I don't have exact dates on when those phone calls took place.


QUESTION: Sarah, two parts of the Comey question regarding the interview the president just gave. First of all, isn't it inappropriate for the president of the United States to ask the FBI director directly if he is under investigation?

SANDERS: No, I don't believe it is.

QUESTION: One of these conversations the president said happened at a dinner where the FBI director, according to the president, was asking to stay on as FBI director. Don't you see how that's a conflict of interest? The FBI director is saying he wants to keep his job and the president is asking whether or not he is under investigation.

SANDERS: I don't see that as a conflict of interest and neither do the many legal scholars and others that have been commenting on it for the last hour. So, no, I don't see that as an issue.

Tim (ph).

QUESTION: And, Sarah - but, Sarah, the other thing I want to ask you about is, I asked you directly yesterday -

SANDERS: We're bumping up to three, I think, now.

QUESTION: This is a different subject related to Comey. I asked you directly yesterday if the president had already decided to fire James Comey when he met with the deputy attorney general and the attorney general, and you said no. Also, the vice president of the United States said directly that the president acted to take the recommendation of the deputy attorney general to remove the FBI director. Sean Spicer said directly, it was all him, meaning the deputy attorney general. Now we learn from the president directly that he had already decided to fire James Comey. So why were so many people giving answers that just weren't correct? Were you guys in the dark? Was the vice president misled again, as happened -

SANDERS: I know you'd love to report that we were misled and we want to create -


SANDERS: Hold on, Jonathan. You had - I let you finish and read off every single one of those statements. So unless you want to trade places, I think it's my turn now.

I think it's pretty simple. I hadn't had a chance to have the conversation directly with the president to say. I'd had several conversations with him, but I didn't ask that question directly, had you already made that decision? I went off of the information that I had when I answered your question. I've since had the conversation with him, right before I walked on today, and he laid it out very clearly. He had already made that decision. He had been thinking about it for months, which I did say yesterday and have said many times since. And Wednesday, I think, was the final straw that pushed him, and the recommendation that he got from the deputy attorney general just further solidified his decision and again I think reaffirmed that he made the right one.

[14:10:36] QUESTION: But was the vice president in the dark, too? This is important, was the vice president in the dark too?

SANDERS: I - nobody was in the dark, Jonathan. You want to create this false narrative. If we want to talk about contradictory statements and people that were maybe in the dark, how about the Democrats? Let's read a few of them. You want to talk about them, here's what Democrats said not long ago about Comey. Harry Reid said Comey should resign and be investigated by the Senate. Senator Chuck Schumer said, I don't have confidence in him any longer. Senator Bernie Sanders said it would not be a bad thing for the American people if Comey resigned. Nancy Pelosi said Comey was not in the right job. Former DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz said that she thought Comey was no longer able to serve in a neutral and credible way. President Obama's adviser, Valerie Jarrett, reportedly urged him to fire Comey. Just yesterday, Representative Maxine Waters said that Hillary Clinton would have fired Comey.

If you want to talk about people in the dark, our story is consistent. The president is the only person that can fire the director of the FBI. He serves at the pleasure of the president. The president made the decision. It was the right decision.

The people that are in the dark today are the Democrats. They want to come out, they want to talk about all of these - they love Comey and how great he was. Look at the facts. The facts don't lie. Their statements are all right there. I think it's extremely clear that - and, frankly, I think it's kind of sad. In Washington we finally had something that I think we should have all been able to agree on, and that was that Director Comey shouldn't have been at the FBI, but the Democrats want to play partisan games and I think that's the most glaring thing that's being left out of all of your process stories.

John Roberts.

QUESTION: Sarah, you said from the podium yesterday that Director Comey had lost the confidence of the rank and file of the FBI. On Capitol Hill today, the acting director of the FBI, Andrew McCabe, directly contradicted that. What led you in the White House to believe that he had lost the confidence of the rank and file at the FBI when the acting director says it's exactly the opposite?

SANDERS: Well, I can speak to my own personal experience. I've heard from countless members of the FBI that are grateful and thankful for the president's decision. And I think that, you know, we may have to agree to disagree. I'm sure that there are some people that are disappointed. But I've certainly heard from a large number of individuals, and that's just myself, and I don't even know that many people in the FBI.

QUESTION: And if I could, what you were saying about the Democrats. Clearly they didn't like James Comey too much after the October 28th pronouncement that he was reopening the investigation into Hillary Clinton's e-mails. Their point now is that the timing is different, that this was in the middle of an investigation. Do they have a point?

SANDERS: Not at all. And I think Mr. McCabe made that point far better than I could today when he said that there's been no impediment to the investigation. And as I said before, any investigation that was taking place on Monday is still taking place today. So I think that's, again, another sad story by the Democrats that they're trying to peddle.

Mara (ph).

QUESTION: Sarah, thank you.

Another comment from the hearing today. The acting deputy attorney general said - I'm sorry the - McCabe said that he considers the investigation into Russian meddling in the election to be highly significant. In the past, the president has said that the investigation was a hoax and he's questioned even recently whether maybe it wasn't Russia, it might have been China. Does the president consider this investigation to be highly significant?

SANDERS: Look, I think he would love nothing more for this investigation to continue to its completion. I think the - one of the reasons that the hoax component is the collusion component that has been the false narrative that you guys have been pushing for the better part of a year, I think that's the piece that he is repeatedly talking about being the hoax.

QUESTION: But in terms of the threat to national security, does he take that seriously? Does he think that's significant? Putting aside the Comey (INAUDIBLE).

SANDERS: Of course he takes national security seriously. I mean to even hint that he doesn't, I think is to misunderstand this president completely. From the very moment that he stepped on to the campaign stage, to the day that he took the oath of office to become president, he has talked about national security. He's made that one of the biggest priorities in the administration. You just saw Tom Bossert here talking about cybersecurity, on all fronts, whether it's securing the border, whether it's protecting people abroad here, the president has been focused on national -

[14:15:11] QUESTION: Don't you think what Russia did during the election was a threat to U.S. national security?

SANDERS: You know, I haven't had the chance to ask him about that. I think we're still waiting on the final conclusion of that investigation.

QUESTION: (INAUDIBLE) he doesn't know -

SANDERS: Look, I think anytime we have someone interfering with our election, that would be considered a problem and I think the president would certainly recognize that.


QUESTION: Sarah, two questions. First, as has been mentioned, Vice President Pence yesterday said the firing was based on the recommendation of the attorney general and deputy attorney general. We know now that that's not true. Was the vice president misled again or did he mislead the American people?

SANDERS: I believe I've answered that question. Thank you.

QUESTION: If you have, I don't think I caught it, because the vice president said yesterday that the president chose to accept and support the decision of the deputy attorney general and attorney general.

SANDERS: He certainly accepted the deputy attorney -


SANDERS: But that doesn't - that doesn't mean that he wouldn't still accept his recommendation. I mean they're on the same page. Like, why are we arguing about the semantics of whether or not he accepted it. They agreed! I mean I'm not sure how he didn't accept the deputy attorney general's recommendation when they agreed with one another.

QUESTION: So if I may just switch topics slightly. If he knew - if the president knew he was going to do this, why ask for those memos to begin with? Why not just fire Comey? Why have these memos put out and then explain that he did it because of the memos, but then say that he was going to do it either way. I'm confused as to why we even got those memos?

SANDERS: Look, I think he wanted to get the feedback from the deputy attorney general, who the director of the FBI reports to. Again, it further solidified the decision that he had made. The only person that could fire Comey was the president. He made that decision. It was clearly the right one, as evidenced by all of the comments, both by House and Senate Democrats, Republicans, and many people within the FBI. I think instead of getting so lost in the process, did this happen at

12:01 or 12:02, did he fire him because he wore a red tie or a blue tie? He fired him because he was not fit to do the job. It's that simple. This shouldn't be a complicated process. The president knew that Director Comey was not up to the task. He decided that he wasn't the right person in the job. He wanted somebody that could bring credibility back to the FBI. That had been lost over these last several months. The president made that decision. He made it. He moved forward. It was the right one. I don't think that, you know, the back and forth makes that much difference.

QUESTION: Sarah, did you call on me?

SANDERS: Yes, I'm sorry, Evelyn (ph).

QUESTION: OK. Thank you.

Sarah, going back to what you said about Democrats, you know there are some Democrats that say that Comey should have been fired, but they're questioning the timing, why now? Even though the deputy attorney general did do that, they're questioning, why now. He could have waited.

SANDERS: Yes. I think that I've answered this. I hate to again just keep repeating myself, but we're kind of getting lost on the same questions here. He had decided that he wasn't fit. There's never going to be a good time to fire somebody, whether it's on a Tuesday or a Friday.


SANDERS: He decided he wanted to give Director Comey a chance. He did and he felt like he wasn't up to the task.

QUESTION: And then my last question. Monday, Sean Spicer, when he was at the podium, he said, after the testimony with Clapper and Yates, he said, you know, he talked about there was no collusion from - what Clapper said, but he also said that there needs to be a timeline when the Russian investigation ends. And then yesterday you said it should continue. Which one is it? Should it continue or should it end because Spicer said the president wanted it to end Monday and now, yesterday, you said it should continue. I mean I'm just trying to find out which one it is.

SANDERS: Look, I've said that we want it to come to its completion. We want it to continue until it is finished, which we would like to happen soon so that we can focus on the things that we think most Americans, frankly, care a whole lot more about. I think the people in this room are obsessed with this story a lot more than the people that we talk to and we hear from every day. We'd like to be focused on the problems that they have. That's the point is we'd love for this to be completed. But we also want it to be completed with integrity. And I think that was one of the other reasons, frankly, that I think that the decision the president made was the right one because I think it adds credibility and integrity back to the FBI where a lot of people frankly were questioning the (INAUDIBLE). (INAUDIBLE).

QUESTION: We now know the president fired the FBI director with more than six years left on his 10 year term because he was a showboat, a grandstander. How important is it that the next FBI director not be a showboat or a grandstander and how important is it that this person show loyalty to the president?

[14:19:59] SANDERS: I think that the main factor that they're looking for is that they're loyal to the justice system, they're loyal to the American people. This president is looking for somebody who can come in that is independent and has the support, I think, across the board, whether it's Republicans, Democrats, members of the FBI and certainly the American people.

Again, it wasn't just one thing that caused the president to make this decision. A large part of why he made this decision was because he didn't feel like Director Comey was up to the job. He had watched. It was just an erosion of confidence that he had in his ability to carry out the tasks that needed to be done. He's looking for somebody who can do that.


QUESTION: Thank you, Sarah.

Two questions. First, I want to follow up on what John asked about, the rank and file at the FBI. Don't you think the acting director of the FBI has a better handle on the rank and file than you do?

SANDERS: Look, I'm not going to get into a back and forth on who has a better handle. Again, I've heard from multiple individuals that are very happy about the president's decision and I know that it was the right one. I believe that most of the people that we've talked to also believe it was the right decision to make.

QUESTION: I want to also ask about the meeting yesterday between President Trump and the Russian foreign minister. Can you walk us through how a photographer from either a Russian state news outlet or the Russian government got into that meeting and got those photographs out?

SANDERS: Yes, the same way that they would, whoever the president was meeting with, when it comes to a foreign minister or a head of state, both individuals have official photographers in the room. We had an official photographer in the room, as did they.

QUESTION: Usually, you know, the independent media in the U.S. is typically invited into those meetings. Why wasn't - why didn't that happen in this case?

SANDERS: It varies, actually. Not always. Particularly sometimes the protocol when it is not the head of state and prior to the president meeting with the head of state, that wouldn't always take place. So, again, proper protocol was followed in this procedure.


QUESTION: Has the president been questioned by the FBI with regard to their investigation into Russian interference in the election?

SANDERS: Not that I'm aware of.

QUESTION: Does he expect to be?

SANDERS: I haven't had a chance to ask him that question, so I don't know. I'm not going to even guess on what he may expect.


QUESTION: So, at the Justice Department there's a general protocol that discourages conversations with the president of the United States by the FBI director about anything that might involve the president. That's a general aspect of the protocol that's usually required to ensure that there is no confusion about political interference of any kind or even the impression or the appearance of political influence on the FBI. That's the standard procedure. You just said here it was appropriate for the president of the United States to ask whether or not he was under investigation. Why is it appropriate if that's not consistent with the guidelines at the Justice Department to avoid that very encounter?

SANDERS: We've talked to several - again, several legal scholars have weighed in on this and said that there was nothing wrong with the president asking that question.

QUESTION: So the Justice Department should change its protocol?

SANDERS: I haven't seen their protocol. I'm only speaking to the information that I have at this -


SANDERS: No, it's not what I think. I mean look at the people that followed up the interview. There were multiple attorneys that came on after and specifically stated that it was not inappropriate and it wasn't wrong for the president to do so. So, again, I can only base it off - I'm not an attorney. I don't even play one on TV. But what I can tell you is what I've heard from legal minds and people that actually are attorneys and that's their opinion. So I have to trust the justice system on that fact, too.

QUESTION: Would you say based on the experience that you and Sean and this communications office had Tuesday and Wednesday that you were given all of the best information to relay to the American public through us and your job is to relay that information to the American public who are only intermediaries about what happened with this firing and the rational for it.

SANDERS: It's funny that you mention the intermediaries. You seem to take a much more proactive approach most of the time, but I'll go with intermediaries for today. Look, I think we were absolutely given the information that we could

have at that time. It was a quick-moving process. We took the information we had, as best we have it, and got it out to the American people as quickly as we could.

QUESTION: And would you say that that information was accurate then or is more accurate now?

SANDERS: I would say that after having a conversation with the president, you don't get much more accurate than that.

QUESTION: And so by that - by that standard, should reporters and the country essentially wait for a pronouncement from the president before believing that which is stated on his behalf by the White House communications staff?

SANDERS: Look, Major, I'm not going to get in a back and forth that I - we have to have like a direct quote every single time. In this process, I gave you the best information I had at the moment. I still don't think that it contradicts the president's decision. You guys want to get lost in the process. The - it's very simple -

QUESTION: I don't believe asking you a question and getting an answer is lost in the process, Sarah, with all respect.

[14:25:03] SANDERS: And I'm - and I'm answering those questions. It's very simple. The president decided to fire Director Comey. Nobody else gets to make that decision. And he made it, he stands by it, as do the rest of us. Thanks.


QUESTION: Yes, two questions.

Following up on this. Back in, I think, October of last year, the former president was highly criticized by members of the FBI and other (INAUDIBLE) folks outside of the FBI for making some comments on television that were sort of suggestive that he had an opinion about how the Hillary Clinton e-mail case should go. And the charge was that he was interfering, that he was putting his thumb on the scale of an ongoing active investigation. There was a lot of criticism from Republicans of the president about that.

It - how - talk to me about how that - how what this president did in his series of conversations with the FBI director doesn't go far beyond what former President Obama did. And to Major's point, how can you argue, regardless of maybe some pundits on TV who might be saying otherwise, how can you argue that that doesn't have an appearance of trying to influence an investigation that's actively going on?

SANDERS: Look, I think the president's encouraged this investigation to take place and complete so that we can move forward. We've been as compliant as possible throughout the entire process. We will continue to do so. Nobody wants this investigation to go forward and complete and end with integrity more than the president.

QUESTION: But people clearly know which way he wants it to come out, right? He's -

SANDERS: On the right side. I think that he wants it to come out - he's very well aware of the actions he has or hasn't taken. He knows he didn't take any action. And I think he's ready for the rest of you guys to understand that as well.

QUESTION: And one last question, just to follow up on the FBI thing. And I'm not trying to be overly combative here, but you said now today, and I think you said again yesterday, that you personally have talked to countless FBI officials, employees, since this happened.

SANDERS: Correct.

QUESTION: I mean, really? Like -

SANDERS: I mean, I -

QUESTION: I mean, really? OK, so are we talking like 50, 60, 70?

SANDERS: Between like e-mail, text messages, absolutely, yes.

QUESTION: I mean like -

SANDERS: Look, we're not going to get into a numbers game. I mean I have heard from a large number of individuals that work at the FBI that said that they're very happy with the president's decision. I mean I don't know what else I can say.

QUESTION: Sarah, there's a report in "The Wall Street Journal," the deputy attorney general asked the White House Counsel to correct the version of events that was coming out initially after the Comey firing. Is that accurate? Has that contributed to the different versions of events we've seen over the last 48 hours?

SANDERS: I'm not aware of a specific ask for a correction. I do know that we all want to make sure that we get this right, and that's been our, you know, plan - you know, what we've attempted to do all along. It's the reason we sent the update last night. I know there were several questions after the briefing yesterday and I addressed that again in the open today. Our goal is to get this as right and as clear as we can.

QUESTION: Did the president know that Comey had sought more resources for his investigation before he made his decision?

SANDERS: No. And I also think - I - based on what I've seen, the Department of Justice has also pushed back and said that that's not accurate. So - but I would refer you to them.


QUESTION: So, Sarah, was it a mistake for the White House to try to pin the decision to fire James Comey on Rod Rosenstein?

SANDERS: I don't think there was ever an attempt to pin the decision on the deputy attorney general. QUESTION: (INAUDIBLE) on his recommendation.

SANDERS: Well, look, I think his recommendation, again, it was extremely clear. The president, though, makes the decision. The buck stops with him. Nobody's ever tried to say that this wasn't the president's decision, that he wasn't the one that carried it out and to try to, I think, conflate those things, it's just not what took place.

We know that the president's been thinking about this for a long time. Wednesday it certainly, I think, expedited that. The director's testimony last Wednesday. And then getting the recommendation from the attorney general - or deputy attorney general, excuse me, I think just further solidified the president's decision.

QUESTION: And just to clarify one thing you said. You said the president has encouraged this investigation with Russia. He wants to see it reach its completion sooner rather than later. How has he encouraged it if he just fired the man who was overseeing the Russian investigation?

SANDERS: There are multiple people that are a part of this. And it's not just the FBI. You've got the House committee, the Senate committee. Look, again, the point is, we want this to come to its conclusion. We want it to come to its conclusion with integrity. And we think that we've actually, by removing Director Comey, taken steps to make that happen.

Thanks so much, guy.

QUESTION: You said you'd answer all of them.

QUESTION: Speaking of integrity, why not have -

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: All of those questions still being shouted at Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Where to begin.

I'm Brooke Baldwin. Thank you so much for being with me.

[14:30:01] First up to bat, David Chalian, let me bring you in, our CNN political director.

And I just have one really simple question off the top here, and that is, did she say that she doesn't understand why this is all so complicated?

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: She did. She said it's very --