KEY POINTS
  • The White House on Wednesday flatly denied that President Donald Trump had ever called the American criminal justice system "a joke and a laughingstock."
  • The denial came just hours after Trump said precisely that during a televised Cabinet meeting.
  • Reporters were stunned that the press secretary would deny the president's own words so soon after the president said them.

The White House on Wednesday flatly denied that President Donald Trump had ever called the American criminal justice system "a joke and a laughingstock," just hours after Trump said precisely that during a televised Cabinet meeting. (See comments at 3:36 in clip above)

"We need quick justice and we need strong justice — much quicker and much stronger than we have right now — because what we have right now is a joke, and it's a laughingstock," Trump said at the meeting.