During Monday’s White House press briefing, Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters that former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort played a “limited role” in the president’s campaign.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer took a question from Jonathan Karl, an ABC News Correspondent, during Monday’s White House press briefing. Spicer was asked about the fact that James Comey confirmed to Congress that an investigation is ongoing into whether any Trump officials colluded in any way with the Russian government to influence the presidential election in 2016. Among those close to Trump that were connected with Russia during the House hearings Monday were Michael Flynn, Carter Page, and Paul Manafort, just to name a few.
Spicer, who more often than not appears to be angry the second he begins fielding questions, snapped back:
‘Investigating it and having proof of it are two different things. There is a point in which you continue to search for something that everybody has briefed hasn’t seen or found. I think it’s fine to look into it. But at the end of the day, they’re going to come to the same conclusion that everybody else has had. So, you can continue to look for something, but continuing to look for something that doesn’t exist doesn’t matter.’
Spicer tried to maintain his cool, but insisted that all of Donald Trump’s former campaign officials, who did have confirmed contact with Russia, were simply “hangers-on on the campaign.”
Spicer went on:
‘There is a fine line between people who want to be a part of something that they never had an official role in and people who actually played a role in the campaign and the transition. Even Gen. Flynn was a volunteer of the campaign. And there was a discussion of Paul Manafort, who played a very limited role for a very limited amount of time.’
Spicer tried to downplay Paul Manafort’s role in the Trump campaign, but the reality is that he was not only Trump’s campaign manager and top aide, he was also a “chairman” for the Trump campaign for months.
Donald Trump hired Manafort March 2016, he didn’t resign the campaign until August when questions arose about his ties with to Ukraine’s pro-Russia former leader.
When Jonathan Carl interrupted Spicer by saying:
‘He was the chairman!’
Spicer gave a terse reply:
‘Hey, Jonathan, somebody’s asking a question. It’s not your press briefing. Please calm down.’
Apparently these connections between Trump campaign officials and the Russian government are a very touchy subject for the White House Press Secretary. Unfortunately, it’s not about his nerves or feelings. The tough questions need to be asked because it’s abundantly clear that they weren’t prior to the election.
Below is a video of the exchange between Spicer and ABC News Correspondent Jonathan Karl, available via YouTube:
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