2. SOUNDBITE (English) Sarah Huckabee Sanders, White House Press Secretary:
"This morning the president signed the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act. The president favors tough measures to deter bad behavior of the rogue regimes in Iran and North Korea. And he also sent a clear signal that we won't tolerate interference in our democratic process by Russia. The bill was improved but Congress has encroached on the power of the presidency, and he signed it in the interest of national unity. We've been very clear that we support tough sanctions on all three of those countries. We continue to do so. And that has certainly not changed. And I think that was reflected in the statements today."
(Reporter question off camera): "At one point one of the finer aspects of the bill, in the findings, it stated Russia did in fact try to interfere in the U.S. elections. And the president's statement on this, the signing statement, he did not quibble with that. Is that an indication that he does accept the finding that Russia interfered in our election?"
(Sarah Huckabee Sanders): "The president's already said that himself directly at the news conference in Poland."
(Reporter question off camera): "He's also said that other actors may have been involved."
(Sarah Huckabee Sanders): "May have been involved as well, but he doesn't dispute the fact that Russia was, and he said that in Poland at the news conference, that I believe you were present for."
3. Sarah Huckabee Sanders at podium
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Sarah Huckabee Sanders, White House Press Secretary:
(Reporter question off camera): "Can you explain why the Justice Department's civil rights division is devoting its limited time and resources to --"
(Sarah Huckabee Sanders): "Quite an accusatory question but I'd be happy to respond. The New York Times article is based entirely on uncorroborated inferences from a leaked internal personnel posting in violation of Department of Justice policy. And while the White House does not confirm or deny the existence of potential investigations, the Department of Justice will always review credible allegation of discrimination on the basis of any race."
5. Sarah Huckabee Sanders at podium
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Sarah Huckabee Sanders, White House Press Secretary:
(Reporter question off camera): "What exactly is Sean Spicer's role in this administration at this point? And how much longer do you expect him to stay on staff? And then something on the signing statement."
(Sarah Huckabee Sanders): "As he said, I believe that was, gosh a week or so ago. The days all kind of run together now. But he was going to stay on in a transition process through August and nothing has changed."
(Reporter question off camera): "So nothing has changed because of Anthony Scaramucci leaving?"
(Sarah Huckabee Sanders): "No. Nothing has changed at this point."
7. Sarah Huckabee Sanders at podium
8. SOUNDBITE (English) Sarah Huckabee Sanders, White House Press Secretary:
(Reporter question off camera): "Is the president still thinking of helping to fund the $10-million-dollar challenge against Senator Flake? And does he have any response to Senator Flake's comments?"
(Sarah Huckabee Sanders): "I'm not sure about any potential funding of the campaign, but I think that Senator Flake would serve his constituents much better if he was less focused on writing a book and attacking the president and passing legislation."
President Donald Trump said he supports a bill that imposes sanctions on Russia Wednesday with foreign countries, disputing reports that he begrudgingly signed the legislation.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee said the president was in support of such measures.
The legislation is aimed at punishing Moscow for interfering in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and for its military aggression in Ukraine and Syria, where the Kremlin has backed President Bashar Assad. The law also imposes financial sanctions against Iran and North Korea.
In the most remarkable example of public Trump-bashing, Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona is taking aim at the president and his own party in a new book, writing that "unnerving silence in the face of an erratic executive branch is an abdication" and marveling at "the strange specter of an American president's seeming affection for strongmen and authoritarians."
The criticism from Flake is especially striking since he is one of just two GOP senators facing competitive re-election races in next year's midterm elections, the other being Dean Heller of Nevada.
Asked about the book, Sanders replied, "Senator Flake would serve his constituents much better if he was less focused on writing a book and attacking the president and passing legislation."