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Rudy Giuliani Said Jared Kushner Disposable, But Ivanka Off Limits; White House Press Briefing; Aired 2:30-3p ET

Aired May 3, 2018 - 14:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[14:32:34] RUDY GIULIANI, LAWYER FOR DONALD TRUMP: Ivanka Trump, I would -- I think I would get on my charger and go right into their offices with a lance if they go after Ivanka.

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS HOST: At this point, sir, I honestly agree with you, I fear for the country. Let me go through --

GIULIANI: Now, I think, if they do do Ivanka, which I doubt they will, the whole country will turn on them. They're doing this to his daughter?

HANNITY: What about his son-in-law? You talked about him.

GIULIANI: I guess, Jared is a fine man. You know that. But men are, you know, disposable. But a fine woman like Ivanka? Come on.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: Oh, there's a lot in there, isn't there?

Norm Eisen is still with us. When we look at that, I mean, this can be taken a number of ways. Obviously is it a message? Is it some sort of a threat not to talk to Ivanka. Jared Kushner is expendable. That's a whole segment in and of itself. When you listen to that, though, is this also something that could fall into a category of obstruction of justice?

NORM EISEN, FORMER OBAMA WHITE HOUSE ETHICS CZAR: Well, to be honest, when I listened to that particular segment having represented criminal defendants for many, many years, a chill must have gone down Jared's spine. It was a kind of a Freudian slip by Rudy. He was showing his hand. We've always speculated that Trump would be willing to sacrifice almost anybody. Jared must have thought, I'm possibly on the chopping block. And I'll bet his first reaction, just speculating, was what do I have that I can give up on the president to save myself?

So the Rudy appearance was so undisciplined. What's needed and what they're getting in the new lawyer who's coming in, Emmett Flood, is discipline and precision and care. A single mistake like this, if this, for example, leads to Jared now being nervous, it can be catastrophic, and Rudy made a boat load of them. I do agree with one thing, however, it is very problematic. If

there's one person that the president cares about, it's Ivanka. So the special counsel had better tread very lightly. But knowing Bob Mueller, if he feels he has to speak to Ivanka --

HILL: Norm, I'm going to -- I'm going to stop you there because Sarah Sanders has just come to the podium. We want to listen in here.

SARAH SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The president also signed an executive order to ensure that all faiths based communities have strong advocates throughout his administration.

[14:35:03] The president encourages people of all faiths across the country to join together and pray for our nation. In that same light, President Trump extends his thoughts and prayers to the nine victims and their families of yesterday's military plane crash in Savannah, Georgia. The nine members of the Puerto Rico National Guard who had a combined 167 years of service were on an official mission. The president has been briefed on the incident and will work with the Department of Defense to provide assistance and resources to the Puerto Rico National Guard.

As you all know, President Trump's nominee to lead the CIA, Gina Haspel, is scheduled to appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee next week. In her 33 years at the agency acting director Haspel has held senior positions around the globe overseeing covert operations and counterterrorism efforts to protect the homeland.

She's one of the most qualified, most capable individuals ever nominated to lead the CIA. We're seeing widespread support from across the political spectrum and within the intelligence community. People that worked at the CIA, people that led the CIA support acting Director Haspel.

Jeremy Bash, the former Democratic chief counsel to the House Committee on Intelligence and chief of staff at the CIA under President Obama, called acting Director Haspel the rare CIA director nominee that both parties should love.

With planning and preparations under way for the summit with North Korea and with Secretary Pompeo now engaged from the State Department, Republicans and Democrats should come together and confirm Gina Haspel as the director of the CIA.

Today we also mark World Press Freedom Day. This comes after a recent suicide bombing in Afghanistan claiming the lives of at least 10 journalists. Many journalists around the globe do their jobs at great risks every day. The United States stands in solidarity with these men and women who work for free and open societies.

And with that I will take your questions. Zeke.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Thanks, Sarah. First, just a quick question. I don't know if you saw the news out of Iran, but Foreign Minister Zarif put out a video statement saying that Iran would not renegotiate or add on to the JCPOA. How does that influence the president's thinking? And do you have a response to that?

SANDERS: We don't have any announcements at this time. When the president has a final decision on what he will do in terms of the JCPOA, we'll let you know.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: And secondly, on another topic in the news today. Can you explain why the president, when he spoke -- when he answered questions from reporters a few weeks ago about the $130,000 payment from Michael Cohen to Stormy Daniels, why the president was not truthful with the American people and with the people in this room?

SANDERS: As Mayor Giuliani stated. and I'll refer you back to his comments, this was information that the president didn't know at the time, but eventually learned. Jonathan.

JONATHAN KARL, ABC NEWS: I could take a broader view on this, because I know you can't talk about the details. But can I ask you, when the president so often says things that turn out not to be true, when the president and the White House show what appears to be a blatant disregard for the truth, how are the American people to trust or believe what is said here and what is said by the president?

SANDERS: We give the very best information that we have at the time. I do that every single day and will continue to do that every day under this position.

KARL: But the president -- I mean, when the story first happened said -- came out that Ty Cobb would be leaving and Emmet Flood would be coming in, the president said, fake news, said it was not true. He just -- when he talked about the prisoners in North Korea, he said the previous administration had, you know, failed to get them out. At least two of them were taken prisoner while Donald Trump was president. And obviously, the totally conflicting statements on the Stormy Daniels claim. I mean, these are statements that are just not true.

SANDERS: When it comes to North Korea, there -- I think you can also look at Otto Warmbier, who was detained during the previous administration, as was one of the current detainees. And so that would reflect the president's comments that he made. When it comes to the other -- the last instance that you mentioned, as Mayor Giuliani stated, this wasn't something that was initially known but later learned. And again, we give the best information possible at the time. And we're going to continue to do that every single day.

(CROSSTALK)

KARL: He started paying back Michael Cohen back in February of last year. I mean, the reimbursement was happening long before the president was asked about this.

SANDERS: Is that a question or a statement?

KARL: But I'm saying, I mean, how could he not have known? He was paying him back. SANDERS: Again, I'm not going to get into those details and I would

refer you back to the statements, pretty lengthy statements made by Giuliani both last night and this morning, as well as the president's tweets, where they both spoke about that. Jim.

JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Just to follow up on that. The president did talk about monthly retainers in his tweet, and then Rudy Giuliani said that the president only knew about this 10 days to two weeks ago. How can you only be aware of something 10 days to two weeks ago, but at the same time be in the process of paying monthly retainers that apparently covered this reimbursement to Michael Cohen?

[14:40:09] SANDERS: Again, I can't get into the details of the ongoing litigation. I'd refer you back to the president's outside counsel.

ACOSTA: If I could just follow up on, you said on March 7th, "There was no knowledge of any payments from the president, and he's denied all of these allegations." Were you lying to us at the time or were you in the dark?

SANDERS: The president has denied and continues to deny the underlying claim. And again, I've given the best information that I had at the time. And I would refer you back to the comments that you, yourself, just mentioned a few minutes ago about the timeline for Mayor Giuliani.

ACOSTA: That statement --

SANDERS: Jeff.

ACOSTA: But, Sarah, that statement --

(CROSSTALK)

SANDERS: Sorry, Jim. I'm going to move on.

ACOSTA: That statement was in reference to the reimbursement, the payment.

SANDERS: Again, I gave you the best information that I had.

ACOSTA: So you're in the dark, you didn't know?

SANDERS: And the allegations --

ACOSTA: You didn't know at the time.

SANDERS: The allegations, the President has denied and continues to deny the underlying claim.

ACOSTA: Why can't you just answer yes or no whether you were in the dark. I think it's is a fairly simply question whether you just didn't have the information at the time -- SANDERS: I think it's a fairly simple answer that I've given you,

actually, several times now. I gave you the best information that I had and I'm going to continue to do my best to do that every single day. Jeff.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Sarah, can you give us an update on the three Americans held in North Korea? Rudy Giuliani said that they were going to be released today. Is that true?

SANDERS: We can't confirm the validity of any of the reports currently out about their release. But we certainly would see this as a sign of goodwill if North Korea were to release the three Americans ahead of discussions between President Trump and Kim Jong-un.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: In addition to being an attorney --

SANDERS: Steve.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Sorry, Sarah, in addition to being an attorney for the president, does Mr. Giuliani -- Mayor Giuliani have a wider remit to talk about things like foreign policy, as he did?

SANDERS: Not that I'm aware of. Steve.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Yes, Sarah, I wanted to ask you about the these reports citing U.S. intelligence that the Chinese have installed new missile platforms on disputed islands in the South China Sea. And they also appear to now be basing fighter jets there. Meanwhile, pilots are being warned that the Chinese military personnel are pointing lasers at U.S. military aircraft in Djibouti in Africa, injuring American pilots. Does any of this cross a red line for the president? And how does the administration intend to respond?

SANDERS: Yes, we're well aware of China's militarization of the South China Sea. We've raised concerns directly with the Chinese about this. And there will be near-term and long-term consequences. And we'll certainly keep you up to date. John.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Thanks a lot, Sarah. Were you caught off guard by Mayor Giuliani's comments on fox News last night?

SANDERS: I'm not part of the legal team and wouldn't be part of those discussions.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: So is the administration -- is the president, is he pleased with the job that Mayor Giuliani is doing right now? It seems as if he's opened the president up to some sort of criminal liability as it relates to federal election campaign violations.

SANDERS: I haven't discussed that with the president. I wouldn't be part of those conversations.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: And so the president then is pleased with the job that Mr. Giuliani is doing --

SANDERS: Again, I haven't had that conversation with the president. That's an outside counsel and that's not something I would be a part of. Francesca.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Thank you, Sarah. When was the last time that the president talked to Michael Cohen? And is Michael Cohen still his attorney? And also, is the White House concerned or is the president concerned that any conversations he would have had with Michael Cohen would have been picked up by the wiretap that we learned about today?

SANDERS: Let me see if I can get all of those questions since there were quite a few all together. I'm not sure when the last conversation took place. On the second part, I'm not aware of specific places where he's representing the president. And on the last one, I would refer you to the president's outside counsel about any concerns of wiretapping. That wouldn't be something that we would --

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: And just to clarify, when did you specifically know that the president repaid Mr. Cohen for the $130,000? You personally.

SANDERS: The first awareness I had was during the interview last night. Major.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Sarah, you said earlier that, when you've given answers around this general topic, you gave us the best information you had at the time. Now it appears that your position is you're not going to comment because it's ongoing litigation. Have you been advised not to wade into this to protect yourself from any potential legal exposure by giving either false information or information that proves later not to be able to be withstood in court?

SANDERS: No, but I would always advise against giving false information. As a person of human decency, I do my best to give the right information --

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: But the point of Jonathan's question earlier, when you say before that you gave the best information you had at the time, and --

SANDERS: And I continue to do that today.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: But it turns out not to be correct or accurate, are you then trying to limit the liability that you may encounter by not dealing with any of those questions now and pushing them all off because you say it's ongoing litigation?

SANDERS: Again, I'm giving the best information I have. Some information I am aware of and some I'm not. When I can answer, I will. But beyond that, I really don't have anything to add.

[14:45:06] UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Let me ask you something that the mayor said last night, not related to the questions you've gotten so far. He said, he, being the president, fired Comey because Comey would not, among other things, say that he wasn't a target of the investigation. Is that the White House position now, explaining why James Comey was fired? SANDERS: There are a number of reasons that James Comey was fired.

The president has named several of them. But the bottom line is he doesn't have to justify his decision. The president has the authority to fire and hire. And I think every single day --

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: So that was --

SANDERS: -- we've seen that he made the right decision in firing James Comey.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Is that the reason he was fired?

SANDERS: Again, I think that there are a number of reasons that he was fired.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Is that one of them?

SANDERS: Certainly, James Comey was fired --

(CROSSTALK)

SANDERS: -- for lying, leaking, and politicizing the FBI. And the president has been, I think, repeatedly, day after day, been proven to be exactly right in his decision to fire James Comey.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: He also said --

SANDERS: And I'm sorry, Major, I'm going to keep going.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: He also said that this is a completely tainted investigation.

SANDERS: Shannon, I'm going to --

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Do you agree with that?

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Sarah, can you --

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: He said it's a completely tainted investigation. Do you agree with that?

SANDERS: Shannon, go ahead.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Can you clear up this timeline a bit, back to Jim's question, about when exactly did the president learn that the payments were going to Michael Cohen to cover the Stormy Daniels?

SANDERS: I would refer you back to Mayor Giuliani's comment. And for anything further I would refer to --

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Ten to two weeks? And did the president know that Mr. Giuliani would specifically be talking about these payments on Hannity last night? Was he aware of the time and the message --

SANDERS: I don't know. That's a question you'd have to ask the mayor. Andrew.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Thank you very much. A follow-up to Jeff's question. Jay Sekulow and Rudy Giuliani have both commented publicly on the North Korean hostages. Are they involved in any way in efforts to secure their release?

SANDERS: Not that I'm aware of.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Why are they commenting on this then?

SANDERS: That's a question you'd have to ask them. I don't speak for people on the outside. Kristen.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Sarah, thanks. Is the president concerned that his own Justice Department authorized a wiretap that may have gathered communications between him and his personal attorney, Michael Cohen?

SANDERS: Again, I'm not sure of the comments on that report or the claims in that report. That's something that you would have to talk with the Department of Justice and the president's outside counsel.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Was the President concerned when he learned the reporting that Michael Cohen's phones were wiretapped several days before the raid?

SANDERS: I haven't talked to him about that. And again, I'm not -- I can't verify the validity of that report.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: And just going back to the payments question, how many payments did the president make to Michael Cohen after the election?

SANDERS: You'd have to ask the president's outside counsel.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: But, Sarah, you're standing here speaking for the president.

SANDERS: Sorry, Kristen.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Can I just ask you about Rudy Giuliani's comments? Rudy Giuliani said this morning, "Imagine if that came out on October 15th, 2016, in the middle of the last debate with Hillary Clinton," a reference to the payment. So does the White House now acknowledge that that payment was made with politics in mind?

SANDERS: Again, I'm not aware of the back-and-forth, and I would refer you to the president's outside counsel.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Sarah, yesterday the president threatened to get involved in the Justice Department if memos were not turned over in a timely manner to the House Intelligence Committee. What actions is the president considering taking? And what does a timely manner mean to the president? How soon does he want the un-redacted version of the special counsel memo?

SANDERS: Probably yesterday. But in terms of --

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: So what has he threatened to do?

SANDERS: -- what he might do, as the president likes to say, we'll see what happens. Olivier.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Thank you, Sarah. On the Haspel nomination, would you remind us what the president's position is regarding the potential use of interrogation tactics that meet international definitions of torture?

SANDERS: I'm not sure what those two things you're trying to connect. I know that Acting Director Haspel has done everything appropriate under the law, and she's going to be a great CIA director, and we look forward to her being confirmed. John.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Yes. Thank you, Sarah. A question on Russia. This morning, the "Financial Times" reported that Alexei Kudrin, a former close associate of President Putin, and a strong advocate of warmer relations with the United States, may well be rejoining his government. This raises another question. You said that the president would have a summit with Mr. Putin sometime in the near future. Can you give us any clues when that will be? Has anything been determined on a possible Trump-Putin summit?

SANDERS: Nothing has been finalized on that front. I think the next big summit, if you will -- word -- I'll borrow your word that the president will engage in will likely be between President Trump and Kim Jong-un. Beyond that, I don't have any updates.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: So there will be no meetings -- it's likely that there's no meetings with President Putin before the Kim-Trump summit?

SANDERS: Not that I'm aware of. Certainly nothing is finalized at this point. But certainly the president would still be very much open to sitting down with the leader of Russia. Emerald.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Thank you, Sarah. Following up on (INAUDIBLE) question, in regards to those memos and the congressional oversight, Rod Rosenstein is saying this is extortion. What is the White House's response to him calling it extortion?

[14:50:03] And does the president support the Freedom Caucus' articles of impeachment for Rosenstein?

SANDERS: The president would like to see the request of Congress to DOJ met. I haven't have a conversation with him about the articles of impeachment. Cecilia. UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: You just said that James Comey was fired for

lying and leaking and politicizing. What did he lie about before he was fired? And what did he leak before he was fired?

SANDERS: The -- there were a number of allegations, one in which he lied during congressional testimony and has been continually, I think, had a number of contradictions since then, which I've pointed out, that the president said he has learned every day since firing Comey that it was the right thing to do, and certainly has been justified in doing so.

But again, going back to the president, frankly, doesn't have to have a justification. He can hire and fire whomever he wants. And he made the decision to fire James Comey. And that's certainly a decision he stands by and one that he feels very justified in since. Julie.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Was Giuliani correct in saying that he was fired in part because he wouldn't tell the president that he wasn't part of the investigation?

SANDERS: I -- I can't speak for Mayor Giuliani. I haven't talked to the president about that. Julie.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Sarah, did the president file a fraudulent personal financial disclosure last year when he filed a report that did not include a loan from Michael Cohen or any company affiliated with him? I mean, if there was no loan, then what would he have been reimbursing?

SANDERS: I don't know. You would have to talk to the president's outside counsel. Brian.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Thank you.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Can you say why he was talking with Giuliani about the North Korean prisoners, given that he doesn't have a high- level clearance?

SANDERS: I'm not aware that they spoke about that, so I don't know.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Was he aware that Giuliani was going to be talking about them on TV during those negotiations?

SANDERS: Again, I'm not aware that they spoke about it, so I can't answer that. Brian.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Sarah, a couple of quick questions. Does the president believe he's above the law?

SANDERS: No.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: And does he prefer to sit down with Kim Jong- un before or after --

SANDERS: I'll answer the first question. No. Go ahead.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Thank you. And then does he prefer to sit down with Kim Jong-un versus Bob Mueller?

SANDERS: I certainly think that the president feels like stopping a nuclear war and helping protect the safety and security of people across the globe would certainly be the number one priority of the president of the United States, and certainly, I would think, would be the priority that most Americans would share and support the president doing.

I'll take one last question. Lalit. Sorry, April.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: OK. Sarah, really fast. Two questions. Can you -- if you're not ready --

(LAUGHTER)

(CROSSTALK)

SANDERS: I was looking for him. I thought he was over here. He's usually standing over there. I'll come to you next.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: So, Sarah, at this point, can you tell us definitively if the president plans to answer any questions from Bob Mueller? And if not, what is now in place here at the White House to go through that process of a subpoena, a possible indictment, a possible grand jury?

SANDERS: Again, those are all questions you would need to refer to the outside counsel.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: OK. Well, now, going to Rudy Giuliani, did Rudy Giuliani do harm to the president today and last night in his conversations to FOX?

SANDERS: I don't believe so.

(CROSSTALK)

SANDERS: Sorry, I'm going to take Lalit's question like I promised to do.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Why didn't he talk to the White House Press Office about his impacting stellar statements about what was happening? Everyone --

(CROSSTALK)

SANDERS: The White House Press Office wouldn't coordinate with the president's outside legal team on legal strategy.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Were blindsided -- you said yourself I was blindsided by what he said.

SANDERS: I actually didn't use that term. UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Well, I said it. But you were blindsided from

what you said.

SANDERS: Well, with all due respect, you actually don't know much about me in terms of what I feel and what I don't.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: -- been here for 21 years, so I understand how this operates. Do not discredit me.

SANDERS: Lalit, go ahead.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Last week, there was a meeting between the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Chinese President Xi Jinping in China. How does the White House see the meeting between the two leaders, India and China, trying to improve their relationship? And did president have a role in that?

SANDERS: We don't have an official policy, but certainly think it's always good when other world leaders are getting along. And certainly when we can cooperate, that's definitely a good thing. We have a great relationship with both countries and hope to continue to do so.

Thanks, guys.

HILL: Well, there's a lot to unpack there, isn't there? David Chalian, Nia-Malika Henderson, David Priess and Laura Coates are all with us now.

David Chalian, I'm not sure where to begin here. But I will say, a few things that stuck out from the very beginning. There is this obvious question which we cannot ignore and we've been talking about now for -- I would say since the campaign the fact that the president is continually changing stories and what we're hearing, the, quote- unquote, "facts" seem to keep changing.

Sarah Sanders said today, and I'm quoting here, "I would always advise against giving false information," and yet there's the question, David, of how can we trust anything we're hearing when the president has such a blatant disregard for the truth?

[14:55:00] DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Well, and of course if the president does, then that infects the people who speak on his behalf. Circle May 3rd on your calendar because this is the day that we will look back on in this briefing where Sarah Sanders made it so painfully clear that she has lost credibility with the American people, with the reporters in that room. She completely would side- step and say that she could only give the best information she has.

She was acknowledging to Jim Acosta's questioning that she came out and provided incorrect information. Well, when the spokesperson for the president of the United States of America comes to that podium and provides incorrect, false, bad information, they have no credibility to continue with that job. I'm not suggesting she's on her way out. I'm sure Sarah Sanders will stay there because she's pleasing an audience of one.

But she has acknowledged that she can only go out there with information, the best available. If the best available is false, bad and untrue information, she's failing at her job and I think we saw that time and again in this press briefing today and I think it will go down as the real time that Sarah Sanders really has lost her credibility with the American people.

HILL: But, David, let me press you on that for just a moment. Because yes, there is the fact that she said repeatedly, as you point out today, I'm giving you the best information I have at the time. Is this Sarah Sanders failing in her job or is this Sarah Sanders doing her job? She's giving us the information that she has at the time, which then continues to change based on the giver of that information, the president?

CHALIAN: But, Erica, she's speaking on behalf of the president of the United States. If she can't verify that what she's going out with to that podium to answer questions with is truthful, accurate information, she shouldn't be speaking about it at all. That's not the case here. She spoke with bad information because we are now learning it was not truthful when she walked out there in March and delivered those answers and she -- I thought she was pretty clear in acknowledging that today.

HILL: There's also -- if you look at this, as you point out, circle this date on our calendar, this May 3rd, Nia-Malika, the question then is where do we go from here in terms of information and being able to trust anything that comes out of this White House?

NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I mean, I think if you go back to day one with Sean Spicer, right, blatantly going out and telling a falsehood about something really small, right, crowd size. And from what we could tell, he was basically sent out there by the president who was unhappy about the comparisons of his crowd size to Obama's crowd size. So this is a book end and echo of that.

Here is Sarah Sanders who of course was mocked. Right? You remember the White House Correspondents'' Dinner. I mean, this was part of the kind of theme of that comedian's act, the idea that Sarah Sanders had a problem with the truth. And I think we got plenty of evidence today and through these last couple of months that she does have a problem being candid. And part of her job there is almost like a reporter. Right?

I mean, it's almost kind of gigging for as much information as she can get, verifying that information, and presenting that information. Right? And if she has doubts about that information, then she shouldn't go out there presenting that information as if it's truthful. And that's what she has done. And you saw her today basically deflect, go to outside counsel or I'm giving you the best information I can. But it's not the best information if it isn't vetted and if it's falsehood. That's not good information. It's terrible information. CHALIAN: And Erica, just to add to what Nia is saying there, I think

Sarah Sanders is wearing it on her face, in her words, that she knows because she is totally, to Nia's point, she's completely changed her approach to all this. It is all now about go to outside counsel, go to outside counsel, I can only give the best information I have at the time. That is a shift because she recognizes that working in that role in this White House under this level of scrutiny has demolished her credibility. So she's taking a different approach.

HILL: And I will say to your point, David, I thought there was definitely a change in her demeanor today. Also Laura, just looking at this from a legal perspective, there was a question asked as to whether or not, too, she's referring some of these questions and not speaking on some of them because she's concerned of how she's been advised for her own just in terms of her own legal issues. Should she be concerned about anything? Is there anything she should be concerned about from a legal perspective when it comes to the information that she's giving?

LAURA COATES, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, there's the court of public opinion credibility that's important for her and the audience that she's before every day and there's the credibility fact that's important for, say, the Mueller investigation, or anyone that's looking into whether she has knowingly provided false information in an attempt to try to have the investigators thwarted in some way shape or form.

You can lie to the press, you cannot lie through the press trying to go obstruct a case, or trying to thwart an investigation or if you actually are interviewed by the investigators, you cannot lie at that point in time.

I have to say a little bit differently here from a prosecutor's point of view, and that is, I saw somebody who was caught flat footed who is trying to say that I only acted on what I knew, in a way that she was trying to distance herself from having that accusation against her that simply that she was trying to proactively lie about a story. She also said, Erica, that when she learned about the idea that Donald Trump had reimbursed Michael Cohen, when did she --