After a week of attempts at damage control, the White House still can't get its story straight on Russia.
After spending a week trying to convince people that Trump really does believe Russia attacked our elections, the White House is back to calling the Russia investigation a "hoax."
On Monday's "Fox & Friends," White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders launched into a tirade about the Russia investigation.
"I think we'd all be a lot better off if we could get this out of the way," Sanders said, "and that Congress and the special counsel could come to the same conclusion that the rest of America has: that this is a hoax and a waste of time, and let's move on and focus on some of the big problems and big challenges that we have to face as a country."
Sanders also claimed that the information released so far shows Trump has "been right all along, that this is a total waste of time, and certainly a waste of taxpayer money."
The reality, though, is that special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation has already resulted in 35 indictments and five guilty pleas. The most recent round of indictments allege that Russian intelligence officials were in contact with the Trump campaign, through an intermediary.
Last week, Trump publicly sided with Vladimir Putin over the U.S. intelligence community by accepting Putin's denial that Russia interfered in our elections, in a performance former CIA Director John Brennan called "treasonous." Since then, the White House has repeatedly tried to clean up the mess by insisting Trump really does accept that Russia interfered in the election.
First, Trump was forced to read a statement to "clarify" that he meant to say, "I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be Russia."
Then Sanders tried to convince reporters that when Trump said "no," in response to the question of whether he believes Russia is still targeting the U.S., he didn't actually mean it.
The White House ended up spending most of the week trying to fix the damage done by Trump during his press conference with Putin last Monday.
But it's a new week, and Trump is back to attacking the investigation into Russia's election interference.
"They should drop the discredited Mueller Witch Hunt now," he tweeted early Monday morning. And Sanders has apparently changed her tactic. Rather than trying to insist Trump doesn't mean the words he's saying, she's supporting his attacks, agreeing that the investigation is a "hoax" that needs to end.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.