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Follow the White House press briefing

updated 3:31 p.m. ET, March 5, 2018
3:28 p.m. ET, March 5, 2018

White House on Nunberg: "He definitely doesn't know"

From CNN's Jeremy Diamond

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders responded to former Trump campaign aide Sam Nunberg's allegation that President Trump may have committed wrongdoing during the campaign.

"I think he definitely doesn’t know that for sure because he's incorrect," Sanders said. "There was no collusion."

Nunberg made the allegation in an interview on MSNBC earlier on Monday, though he made clear he had no evidence of any wrongdoing by Trump during the campaign. He based his assertion on the questions Mueller's investigators asked him in an interview last week.

3:31 p.m. ET, March 5, 2018

White House: Cabinet officials' travel expenses under review

From CNN's Jeremy Diamond

Pressed Monday about reports of improper spending by three Cabinet officials in the Trump administration, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders declined to comment on ongoing reviews, but said President Trump takes the spending of taxpayer dollars "very seriously."

"He takes spending taxpayer dollars very seriously. All of those individual secretaries’ travel and others are under review," Sanders said in response to a question about VA Secretary David Shulkin, HUD Secretary Ben Carson and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.

She continued: "That’s why they’re under review and once that’s completed we’ll have more information."

3:23 p.m. ET, March 5, 2018

White House reacts to former Trump aide refusing Mueller subpoena

Former Trump campaign aide Sam Nunberg said Monday that he is refusing to comply with a grand jury subpoena in the Russia investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller.

"Let him arrest me," Nunberg said in an interview with The Washington Post. "Mr. Mueller should understand I am not going in on Friday."

At the press briefing, Sarah Sanders said she wouldn't "weigh into somebody that doesn't work at the White House" and that "we are fully cooperating with the office of the special counsel. We're going to continue to do so." 

She then said: "Once again, the reason we are so comfortable doing so is because there is absolutely no collusion within the Trump campaign and any foreign government." 

Reporting by CNN's Eli Watkins

3:18 p.m. ET, March 5, 2018

Trump is meeting with video game industry leaders Thursday

President Trump is meeting with leaders of the video game industry on Thursday, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said.

Asked whether the administration had any gun proposals, Sanders said the President "some specific things and some specific places that he does support."

"We're going to continue some of the discussions that have been ongoing, continue to engage with Congress as we lay out some more details of what we'd like to see," she said.

But do video games actually lead to violence? Here's what the research says.

3:14 p.m. ET, March 5, 2018

White House on missed DACA deadline: "It's absolutely terrible"

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders laid blame squarely at the feet of Congress for missing the deadline to fix the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

"Look, I think it's absolutely terrible that Congress has failed to act," Sanders said, saying that the President gave Congress six months "and he also gave them a plan."

"They claim to want to fix DACA. The President laid out a pathway and an exact way to do that," Sanders said. "They failed to address it, but we're still hopeful that Congress will actually do their jobs, show up and get something done and fix this problem, not kick it down the road and ignore it."

(A court intervention effectively rendered the March 5 deadline meaningless -- and, paired with a dramatic failure on the Senate floor to pass a legislative fix, the wind has been mostly taken out of the sails of any potential compromise.)

3:13 p.m. ET, March 5, 2018

White House and Speaker Ryan don't "have to agree on everything," Sanders says

House Speaker Paul Ryan said earlier today that he is "worried" about President Trump's planned raise on tariffs on aluminum and steel coming into the US.

"We are extremely worried about the consequences of a trade war and are urging the White House to not advance with this plan," Ryan spokeswoman AshLee Strong said in a statement Monday morning. "The new tax reform law has boosted the economy and we certainly don't want to jeopardize those gains."

Asked how the White House felt about Ryan's comments today, press secretary Sarah Sanders said the administration and the speaker don't have to agree on everything.

2:13 p.m. ET, March 5, 2018

11 questions that could come up in today's briefing

  • President Trump met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today behind closed doors. What did the two leaders talk about?
  • What part did Jared Kushner, who recently had his security clearance downgraded, play in the Trump-Netanyahu meeting?
  • Will the President travel to Israel for the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem?
  • Is the President going to back down from or alter his plan to impose new tariffs, now that several GOP leaders are urging him to stop it?
  • Do you have any indication White House chief economist Gary Cohn is planning to leave the West Wing over frustrations over the implementation of the tariffs?
  • The gun debate has seemingly stalled in Congress. What is the White House going to do next about the issue?
  • Today is the deadline Trump created for Congress to fix DACA. Does the White House see a way forward?
  • What is President Trump doing to deter Russia from meddling in our next election?
  • Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowksi suggested today at least someone in the White House must have known about abuse allegations against former staff secretary Rob Porter. Who knew what, when?
  • Did President Trump watch the Oscars last night? (There were plenty of political moments.)
  • Does the President think Brooklyn's BBQ style is "taking over the world," as a now-viral tweet suggested, earning a well-deserved ribbing?
1:50 p.m. ET, March 5, 2018

Trump: "I don't think we're going to have a trade war"

From CNN's Noah Gray

President Trump, amid the world reaction to his tariff proposal, said he does not believe there will be a trade war.

The President was speaking at the end of the Oval Office photo op with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu.

"No trade war," the President told reporters. "I don't think we're going to have a trade war."