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White House press conference: Sarah Sanders clashes with reporters over border wall, Michael Flynn and Trump Foundation

Briefing comes a couple of hours after the sentencing hearing for Trump's former national security advisor is delayed

Sarah Harvard
New York
Tuesday 18 December 2018 21:09 GMT
Trump: FBI said Michael Flynn didn't lie

The White House has held its first press briifing of the month, with press secretary Sarah Sanders clashing with reporters over the news that the president's charitable Trump Foundation will be dissolved and his former national security advisor Michael Flynn appeared in court for lying to the FBI.

The White House briefing no longer really deserves the "daily" moniker with the last one being held on 27 November. Only two were held in October and one on September.

Ms Sanders said that the delay in sentencing agreed by the judge in the Flynn case was between the former White House aide and the courts.

She added that "there is certainly concern" that Flynn lied but that the courts will determine that.

Ms Sanders referred all questions on the Trump Foundation to the Trump Organisation, saying the White House could not answer.

Questions about the foundation was one of several areas where Ms Sanders exchanged prickly comments with the assembled media.

On the issue of funding for the border wall Mr Trump wants with Mexico, Ms Sanders said that while the president waits for the Congress to pass a spending bill to keep the government open, he is talking to cabinet members about directing funds from their agencies towards the wall.

To see who the press conference unfolded follow our liveblog below

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White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders is expected to take questions from reporters on Tuesday afternoon.

The press conference, scheduled for 1:30pm E.T., is the first held by the White House since November.

Sarah Harvard18 December 2018 16:29

The White House is facing criticism for its lack of press briefings. Ms Huckabee Sanders has only took the podium for four press briefings in September, October and November.

Sarah Harvard18 December 2018 16:34

It is expected that the White House will be addressing Michael Flynn, a former National Security Adviser to President Donald Trump, and his sentencing for lying to the FBI. Flynn plead guilty for lying to the FBI in relation to Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation.

Sarah Harvard18 December 2018 17:15

In an interview with Fox News, Ms Huckabee Sanders accused the FBI for "[breaking] every standard protocol that they have" to make a case that Flynn lied to the agency during its investigation.

Sarah Harvard18 December 2018 17:30

US District Judge Emmett G. Sullivan, the judge sentencing Flynn, suggests Michael Flynn committed treason.

“Arguably, this undermines everything this flag over here stands for," he said. "Arguably, you sold your country out."

Sarah Harvard18 December 2018 17:38

In the month of November, a turkey spent more time in front of White House reporters than press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. 

Sarah Harvard18 December 2018 17:51

Ms Sanders told Fox News this morning that Flynn was "ambushed" by FBI investigators. 

Sarah Harvard18 December 2018 18:01

Judge Sullivan has delayed Michael Flynn's sentencing. A status hearing is set for March 13.

Sarah Harvard18 December 2018 18:15

The press briefing scheduled for Tuesday at 1:30 pm E.T. will be the first appearance press secretary Sarah Sanders will have with White House reporters since November 27. This is also her fifth appearance since Labor Day in September. 

It is expected that reporters will ask Ms Sanders about the delayed sentencing of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. Other issues that might be discussed are special counsel Robert Mueller's probe, the Senate Intelligence Committee's report on possible Russian interference in Donald Trump's 2016 presidential win, the appointment of acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, and funding for a wall on the US-Mexico border.

Sarah Harvard18 December 2018 18:24

A CNN White House reporter said protesters chanted "Lock him up!" as Michael Flynn left the court building. The chant is similar to the one Flynn said during Mr Trumps's campaign rallies when referring to Hillary Clinton.

Sarah Harvard18 December 2018 18:36

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