In perhaps the biggest eyebrow-raising moment, Spicer sought to distance the White House from former Trump advisors who may now be subject to an FBI investigation into links with Russian Federation.
Pressed by reporters incredulous that he could dismiss Trump's second campaign manager as having "played a very limited role for a very limited amount of time", Spicer doubled down.
That depends on what he means by the word "limited".
Spicer wrongly claimed that Manafort was brought onto Trump's campaign "sometime in June and by the middle of August he was no longer with the campaign".More news: Wenger told me he will stay at Arsenal, reveals Pulis
But Manafort's name is being invoked again as Democrats continue to push their case that the Trump campaign colluded with Russian Federation to swing the presidential election against Hillary Clinton. And when campaign manager Corey Lewandowski was sacked in June, Manafort - who butted heads with Lewandowski - was widely seen as the campaign's top official. Earlier this month, it was revealed that Manafort was targeted for blackmail by Ukrainians who claimed to have proof that he received $12.7 million in cash payments from an organization supporting pro-Russian former Ukraine Pres. Viktor Yanukovych.
Coons, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told Fox News earlier this month that he while had "no hard evidence of collusion" between the campaign and the Russians, "I think what hard evidence there may be will be discovered either through a full release of President Trump's financial interests and concerns and taxes, or the intercepts that I believe our intelligence community and Federal Bureau of Investigation have of conversations between and among Russian officials".
"It's clear that nothing has changed", Spicer also commented on Comey's first public confirmation that the Trump campaign has been under FBI investigation since July, stressing that there is no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation during the election.
The inquiry includes "individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia's efforts". He then said that, "there is a fine line between people who want to be part of something that they never had an official role in and people who actually played a role in either the campaign or the transition".More news: Microsoft releases Windows 10 cumulative update 14393.969
"We had a mini-Cabinet meeting two weeks ago at his club in Virginia", Spicer said, referring to Trump's gathering of some top aides at Trump National Virginia in Potomac Falls two weeks ago.
Some commentators said Spicer appeared "shaken―even frightened" during the briefing.
"With respect to Paul, though, I believe".
Spicer later clarified: "Just so we're clear, I'm not dismissing Paul Manafort as a hanger-on".More news: Doc Rivers hating National Basketball Association back to back scheduling
"Even Gen. Flynn was a volunteer of the campaign", Spicer added.
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