1. SOUNDBITE (English) Sarah Huckabee Sanders, White House Press Secretary:
"First, the president said, last week - I believe it was last week - and I've said several times before, there's no intention or plan to make any changes in regards to the special counsel. But look, today's announcement has nothing to do with the president, has nothing to do with the president's campaign or campaign activity. The real collusion scandal, as we've said several times before, has everything to do with the Clinton campaign, Fusion GPS and Russia. There's clear evidence of the Clinton campaign colluding with Russian intelligence to spread disinformation and smear the president to influence the election. We've been saying from day one there's been no evidence of Trump-Russia collusion and nothing in the indictment today changes that at all."
2. SOUNDBITE (English) Sarah Huckabee Sanders, White House Press Secretary, speaking about former adviser George Papadopoulos:
"It has nothing to do with the activities of the campaign. It has to do with his failure to tell the truth."
3. AP reporter asking question
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Sarah Huckabee Sanders, White House Press Secretary:
"Again there are no activities or official capacity in which the Trump campaign was engaged in any of these activities. Most of them took place well before the campaign ever even existed."
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Sarah Huckabee Sanders, White House Press Secretary, on Papadopoulos' role within the campaign:
"It was extremely limited. It was a volunteer position. And again, no activity was ever done in an official capacity on behalf of the campaign in that regard."
6. Reporter asking question
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Sarah Huckabee Sanders, White House Press Secretary, responding to question about Papadopoulos' outreach to have campaign officials and Russians meet:
"The outreach that was repeatedly denied and pushed away and said we're not going to take any action on that?
UPSOUND (English) Reporter, off-screen: "Can you explain what happened with his outreach?"
SOUNDBITE (English) Sarah Huckabee Sanders:
"He reached out and nothing happened beyond that, which I think shows 1 - his level of importance in the campaign and 2 - shows what little role he had within coordinating anything officially for the campaign."
8. SOUNDBITE (English) Sarah Huckabee Sanders, White House Press Secretary:
"Look, this individual was the member of a volunteer advisory council that met one time over the course of a year and he was part of a list that was read out in the Washington Post - I'd hardly call that some sort of regular adviser or, as you want to, you know, push, that he's like a senior member of the staff. It's - he was not paid by the campaign. He was a volunteer on a - again - a council that met once."
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Sarah Huckabee Sanders, White House Press Secretary, responding to question about whether she believes Mueller is in process of 'wrapping up his investigation':
"We still expect this to conclude soon, yes."
10. SOUNDBITE (English) Sarah Huckabee Sanders, White House Press Secretary, responding to question about last time Trump and Paul Manafort spoke:
"As far as we can tell, we know that they haven't spoken in several months. The last known conversation was back all the way to February. And as far as anything beyond that with Paul, I'm not sure of any other contact. I know that there was some initial contact after the president was sworn in with him at meetings here at the White House, but nothing directly with the president."
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Sarah Huckabee Sanders, White House Press Secretary, on whether she is worried this news will distract from tax reform:
"I'm not worried about it distracting because it doesn't have anything to do with us because this is something that is action that took place outside of the campaign or campaign activity."
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders sought to distance President Donald Trump from special counsel Robert Mueller's indictments on Monday, saying "most" alleged activities took place before the 2016 presidential campaign.
Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election revealed its first targets Monday, with a former campaign adviser to President Trump admitting he lied to the FBI about his contacts with Russians. Separately, Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, and a former Manafort business associate were indicted on felony charges of conspiracy against the United States and other counts.
The guilty plea by former adviser George Papadopoulos marked the first criminal count that cites interactions between Trump campaign associates and Russian intermediaries during the campaign. The developments ushered Mueller's sprawling investigation into a new phase with felony charges and possible prison sentences for key members of the Trump team.