Sarah Sanders Says Donald Trump Doesn't Owe Robert Mueller an Apology: 'Are You Kidding?'

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders shot down a question Monday regarding whether she believed President Donald Trump owed Robert Mueller an apology for how he treated the special counsel throughout his investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

Sanders faced questions on Trump's behavior toward Mueller after Attorney General William Barr concluded that the special counsel's long-awaited report on his investigation found that the Trump campaign had not conspired with Russia. It was inconclusive as to whether Trump obstructed justice.

"For the last two years, the president has absolutely eviscerated Bob Mueller, a lifelong public servant, former marine, a registered Republican, I might add. He's called him 'a national disgrace,' 'discredited,' 'a prosecutor-gone-rogue' who oversaw a gang of thugs," Today show host Savannah Guthrie said during an interview with Sanders.

"In the end, this individual conducted [an] investigation, came to a conclusion that ultimately cleared, as we just discussed, the president. Did Robert Mueller deserve better from the president than this kind of language and behavior?"

Appearing to skirt the question, Sanders responded: "Frankly, I think the American people deserved better. They didn't deserve for the election of this president to try to be taken down..."

"Wait a minute," Guthrie quickly interjected. "But the president's rhetoric about a public servant doing a job?"

"Are you kidding?" Sanders responded, asserting that Trump's rhetoric matched only that of "the media and Democrats."

"The president's rhetoric matches. They are literally—the media and Democrats have called the president an agent of a foreign government. That is an accusation equal to treason, which is punishable by death in this country," she said.

Guthrie continued to push the question, however. "Wait a minute—you have kids and you know that if you say, 'Did you do this,' the answer isn't 'Yeah, but my brother did that,'" she said to Sanders. "So let's talk about the president's behavior. He called Robert Mueller...he trashed him for two years, and in the end Mueller just did an investigation that, ultimately, the president considers a total exoneration of him. Does he owe Robert Mueller an apology for that kind of rhetoric?" Guthrie asked.

"I think Democrats and the liberal media owe the president, and they owe the American people, an apology," Sanders batted back. "They wasted two years and created a massive disruption and distraction from things that people, that impact everyone's day-to-day life."

After Sanders claimed that people like former U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former CIA Director John Brennan lied to Congress "to perpetuate this idea of Russia collusion against the president of the United States," Guthrie clarified, saying, "I think they're talking about the fact that Russia did in fact meddle in our elections, which is born out by this latest report and the intelligence agencies of the U.S."

"And they tried to tie the president of the United States to it, which was completely false and completely wrong," Sanders maintained.

Noting that the question of whether Trump's campaign was tied to Russian meddling in the election was a central focus of Mueller's investigation, Guthrie said: "I think that was the subject of the investigation, which we now have the results of and they are very clear, it says no collusion."

"I think it's a shame for the American people, but we're all very glad, I think, it's over and we can move forward and focus on things that really matter," Sanders said.

Earlier in the interview, the White House press secretary said it should not be forgotten that "it's very hard to obstruct something when there wasn't a crime," to which Guthrie responded, "Well, that's a technical legal argument that may or may not have guided the decision-making here."

Following the release of Barr's summary of Mueller's report, Trump celebrated the findings as a "complete and total exoneration" despite the fact that Mueller's report did not exonerate him.

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White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders speaks during a campaign rally for Republican Senate candidate Mike Braun and attended by President Donald Trump at the County War Memorial Coliseum November 5, 2018 in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Sanders shut down questions on whether Trump owes special counsel Robert Mueller an apology on Monday, March 25. Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty