Sanders emphasized that she's "not sure that the president recalls specific details" of a March 31 national security team meeting at Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C.in which Papadopoulos was present.
Sanders's assertion is at odds with the indictment issued by the Special Counsel investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, which states Papadopoulos was encouraged to meet with Russian officials by campaign officials.
"What the Clinton campaign did, what the DNC did was actually exchange money, they took a meeting", Sanders said.
At the time Trump described him as an "excellent guy" so was clearly familiar with his work.
Speaking of Trump Jr's meeting with Russians previous year, she said: "The big difference here is you have a meeting that took place vs millions of dollars being sent to create fake information to actually influence the election".More news: USA pressure behind delay in vote for 'Greater Jerusalem Bill'
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ABC White House correspondent Jon Karl asked Sanders to elaborate on White House chief of staff John Kelly's comments from Monday night when he said the Russian Federation investigation was "very distracting" to Trump and his agenda.
Papadopoulos was living in London when he joined the campaign, according to the indictment.
According to court documents, Papadopolous' false statements to the Federal Bureau of Investigation concerned his contact with a professor with connections to the Russian government about "thousands of emails" that could damage Hillary Clinton.
"In the hours after the indictment", The Associated Press says, "the president angrily told one confidant that Manafort had been a campaign "part-timer" who had only helped steer the convention and got too much credit for Trump's ability to hold onto the nomination".