Follow the White House press briefing

By Veronica Rocha, Brian Ries and Sophie Tatum, CNN
4:51 PM ET, Tue December 18, 2018
3:07 p.m. ET, December 18, 2018

Our live coverage of the White House press briefing has concluded. Scroll through the posts below to see how it unfolded.

2:35 p.m. ET, December 18, 2018

White House says no comment over Trump Foundation case

From CNN's Kevin Liptak

President Trump's personal charitable foundation agreed to dissolve under judicial supervision amid an ongoing lawsuit concerning its finances, according to a document filed today in Manhattan Supreme Court by the New York state Attorney General's office.

Asked about the latest developments involving the Trump Foundation, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders declined to comment and referred questions to the Trump Organization.

2:43 p.m. ET, December 18, 2018

Sanders admits "concern” over Flynn’s lies but distance from Trump

From CNN's Sophie Tatum and Maegan Vazquez

Earlier Tuesday, a judge delayed President Donald Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn's sentencing.

During the White House press briefing, a reporter asked White House press secretary Sarah Sanders to clarify if the White House was disputing that Flynn "is a liar."

"We're disputing any actions he engaged in had nothing to do with the President. Just because, maybe he did do those things, but that doesn't have anything to do with the President directly," Sanders said.

Sanders also said she would not like to revisit her Fox News comments asserting that Flynn was “ambushed” by the FBI during an interview with him in 2017.

At Flynn’s sentencing hearing on Tuesday, he said he knew lying to federal investigators was illegal and accepted responsibility for his crimes.

“No. We still firmly believe -- look the things that may have taken place, again, that’s for the judge to make that determination, whether he engaged in anything inappropriate. What we do know that was inappropriate by the … self-admittance of (fired FBI Director) James Comey is that the FBI broke standard protocol in the way that they came in and ambushed Gen. Flynn and in the way that they questioned him and in the way that they encouraged not to have White House counsel’s office present. And we know that because James Comey told us that and he said the very reason that they did it was because … they thought they could get away with it,” Sanders said, adding, “We don’t have any reason to walk that back.”

Sanders later said there is “certainly concern” over Flynn’s lies, but tried to distance those lies from the President.

Asked why the President was making positive comments about Flynn, Sanders said, “It’s perfectly acceptable for the President to make a positive comment about somebody while we wait to see what the court’s determination is.”

Watch the moment:

2:53 p.m. ET, December 18, 2018

Trump asks agencies to identify border security funds, White House says 

From CNN's Kevin Liptak

President Trump has asked agency heads to identify available funds for border security, the White House said Tuesday, suggesting that could provide an option that would avert a partial government shutdown.

However, press secretary Sarah Sanders did not commit to any particular plan that would provide funding for government agencies.

"At this point we're disappointed in the fact they've yet to vote and pass something," Sanders said of the US Senate. "When they do that, we'll make a determination whether we're going to sign that."

She continued:

"The President has asked every one of his cabinet secretaries to look for funding that can be used to protect our borders and give the President the ability to fulfill his constitutional obligation to protect the American people by having a secure border," she said. "So we're looking at the other options. In the meantime we'll see what the Senate does and let you know when we have an announcement."

Earlier today, Sanders indicated that the White House could support a compromise bill to avoid a partial government shutdown later this week. She appeared to suggest that the White House could support a bipartisan Senate bill that would fund the Department of Homeland Security, which the White House rejected earlier this year. CNN has asked the White House for clarification.

Hear Sarah Sanders' comments here:

2:12 p.m. ET, December 18, 2018

President Trump is heading back to Davos

From CNN's Kevin Liptak

President Trump will attend the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos next month, press secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters.

She also listed a litany of other Cabinet secretaries and other senior officials who would travel to Switzerland alongside the President.

Trump first appeared at Davos a year ago, making waves by proclaiming a protectionist agenda at the gathering of the global financial elite.

3:01 p.m. ET, December 18, 2018

Sarah Sanders opens press briefing, welcomes McSally to the Senate

Press secretary Sarah Sanders was late to the briefing, but opened it with brief remarks on the White House's announcement today to officially ban bump-fire stock.

She also welcomed Republican Rep. Martha McSally to the Senate.

"She has been a strong partner in the House of Representatives, helping to advance a number of the administration’s priorities, including rebuilding our military and increasing border security," Sanders said. "The President applauds Gov. Ducey for his swift and qualified selection."

Watch the moment here:

1:31 p.m. ET, December 18, 2018

Sarah Sanders is holding a press briefing today

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders will take reporters' question at a 1:45 p.m. ET briefing today.

The briefing comes as lawmakers wait for President Trump to lay out the next steps to avoid a partial government shutdown.

Earlier today, in a Fox News interview, Sanders suggested that the Trump administration has found other ways to get its requested $5 billion for the border wall to avoid a government shutdown.

The shutdown is among several headlines dominating today's news surrounding Trump and the White House.

Here's what's happening today:

  • The sentencing for Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn was also postponed today.
  • The White House announced today its officially banning bump-fire stock.
  • Trump also ordered the creation of "Space Command" today, a move the administration is labeling a precursor to creating a US Space Force. 
  • And in New York, the Donald J. Trump Foundation agreed to dissolve under judicial supervision amid an ongoing lawsuit concerning its finances.