The White House refused to explain on Friday what Donald Trump meant the previous evening when he appeared to forecast a military conflict somewhere in the world.
When a reporter asked if it mean something other than military action, Trump replied "we'll see".
"I think you can take the president protecting the American people always very serious", she said.
"You'll find out", Trump said when asked to clarify.
During the briefing, Sanders suggested the president wasn't discussing a specific situation, amid tensions around the globe with ISIS, North Korea and Iran.
I'm wondering if there's any concern in the White House that the president's frequent use of the term "fake news" to describe mainstream outlets muddies the water a little bit and makes it harder for citizens to identify the actual fake news that the intelligence agencies have said countries like Russian Federation used to interfere in the last election.
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At the Thursday meeting, Trump reiterated his administration's opposition to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, saying the USA would not "allow this dictatorship to threaten our nation or allies with unimaginable loss of life".
"No, I just picture people in this town actually holding their breath", she said.
"I think that it is sad that the Mayor of San Juan chose to make that a political statement instead of a time of focusing on the relief efforts". The president is the leader of the cabinet.
Tension between Trump and Tillerson resurfaced over the weekend when the secretary of state said during a trip to China that the US was in direct communication with North Korea, which has ramped up its nuclear device and missile testing in recent months. "We're going to continue doing that as a team with the president leading that effort", she said.
During his speech to the United Nations General Assembly last month, Trump said the United States would "totally destroy" North Korea if needed to defend itself or US allies.