Follow the White House press briefing

By Meg Wagner, Brian Ries and Veronica Rocha, CNN
2:08 p.m. ET, October 3, 2018
2:05 p.m. ET, October 3, 2018

Our live coverage of the White House press briefing has concluded. Swipe or scroll down for highlights.

2:04 p.m. ET, October 3, 2018

White House: "Both Dr. Ford and Judge Kavanaugh are victims at the hands of the Democrats"

From CNN's Betsy Klein

In an exchange with CNN’s Jim Acosta, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders repeated that President Trump was “stating facts” last night, adding that “no one is looking at whether or not the accusations made are corroborated.”

Asked whether Kavanaugh is a victim, Sanders said yes, pivoting to blame Democrats. 

“I think both Dr. Ford and Judge Kavanaugh are victims at the hands of the Democrats. I think it is absolutely disgraceful what they’ve done and exploiting this process. They’ve exploited Dr. Ford, they’re exploiting all of the women that have come out to make any type of accusation,” she said.

1:51 p.m. ET, October 3, 2018

Sanders on Ford's testimony: "You can’t make this decision based on emotion"

From CNN's Betsy Klein

Sarah Sanders was asked again about the President’s remarks on Christine Blasey Ford last night in Mississippi. She called her testimony “compelling,” but said decisions must be made based on fact.

“Certainly the testimony by Dr. Ford was compelling, but you can’t make this decision based on emotion, it has to be based on fact. They have to determine what the facts are of this case, that’s one of the reasons they asked and begged for the FBI and delayed a hearing vote so they could get more facts on this case,” she said.

She continued, “We expect the FBI to turn those facts over to the senate and they can make a determination based on that. That’s all we’re asking for.”

Pressed again, Sanders repeated that the President was only “stating facts” during his attack last night.

“It wasn’t anything other than the president stating facts, in fact, facts that were laid out in the prosecutor’s memo that she put forward to the senate. Each of the things he called out were laid out in that memo,” she said.

1:54 p.m. ET, October 3, 2018

Sanders: Trump believes FBI can interview anyone it wants on Kavanaugh allegations

From CNN's Jeremy Diamond

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said President Trump has "indicated that whoever the FBI deems necessary to interview, he's fine with that" when it comes to the investigation into allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

At the same time, Sanders said Trump believes the Senate should be the ones "to determine" the scope of the FBI investigation.

Sanders was responding to a question about a Bloomberg News report saying the FBI has not interviewed Kavanaugh or Christine Blasey Ford because the White House has not given them clear authority to do so.

Sanders also pointed out that both Kavanaugh and Ford "were questioned in the most public way possible by the members of the Senate who ultimately have to make the determination."

1:38 p.m. ET, October 3, 2018

Sanders calls NYT investigation on Trump a "totally false attack"

From CNN's Jeremy Diamond

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders slammed the New York Times investigation alleging Trump helped his parents dodge taxes and commit tax fraud as "a totally false attack" and "very boring."

"It’s a totally false attack based on an old recycled news story," Sanders said during a White House briefing on Wednesday, adding the article was "a very boring 14,000-word story."

Sanders said the story got "one thing" right: "The President's father actually had a great deal of confidence in him."

"They made a lot of money together," Sanders said. "He went on to say everything he touched turned to gold."

Sanders also read from Trump's attorney's statement which describes the Times story as "false and highly defamatory."

Sanders said she is "not aware of any plans" for Trump to release his tax returns.

1:37 p.m. ET, October 3, 2018

Sanders on Democrats' opposition to Kavanaugh: "This is about politics and power"

Press secretary Sarah Sanders blasted Democrats and their opposition to Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court.

Calling the Democrats' actions "a coordinated smear campaign," she criticized lawmakers for launching a "full scale assault on Judge Kavanaugh."

"This is about politics and power. Pure and simple. And they have destroyed Judge  Kavanaugh's reputation, undermined Dr. (Christine) Ford's privacy and tried to up end our traditions of innocence until proven guilty in the process," Sanders said.

She continued: "It is a complete and total disgrace."

1:37 p.m. ET, October 3, 2018

Sanders: Trump was merely "stating the facts" in comments seen as mocking Ford's testimony

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders was just asked about President Trump's comments last night about Christine Blasey Ford, which several key Republicans have criticized this morning.

"The president was stating the facts," Sanders said.

A reporter asked a follow up: Is the President concerned that he may have put those votes this danger by doing what he did last night?

"I don't think so," Sanders said. "The President is very confident in his nominee as he stated time and time again. And we expect the senate to vote and we hope they do that soon."

What Trump said: Speaking at a campaign rally Tuesday night, Trump cast doubt on Ford's testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee by mocking her for not knowing the answers to questions such as how she had gotten to the high school party where she says Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her, an allegation he has repeatedly denied. 

“'I had one beer.' Well do you think it was… 'Nope. It was one beer,'" Trump said at the rally. "Oh good. How did you get home? 'I don’t remember.' How did you get there? 'I don’t remember.' Where is the place? 'I don’t remember.' How many years ago was it? 'I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know.'"

1:21 p.m. ET, October 3, 2018

Trump's 2nd quarter salary goes to the Small Business Administration

From CNN's Betsy Klein

The White House says President Trump has chosen to donate his 2018 second quarter salary to the Small Business Administration (SBA). 

Administrator Linda McMahon accepted the check on behalf of the SBA. 

The money, McMahon said, will be used for an intensive training program for veterans. It will build on an existing SBA program that helps emerging leaders become entrepreneurs. 

This program, she said, will help veterans transition from military life into the private sector as entrepreneurs.

1:15 p.m. ET, October 3, 2018

NOW: White House briefing starts with Linda McMahon, Bolton remarks

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders opened today's briefing and handed it over to two Trump Administration officials -- Linda McMahon, Administrator of the Small Business Administration and John Bolton, National Security Advisor.