White House tries to distance Trump from campaign aides

21 March, 2017, 04:46 | Author: Valerie Burke

Spicer echoed tweets Trump sent earlier in the day, standing firm that leaks are the real issue, as opposed to the Trump campaign having ties to Russian Federation and claims that former President Obama wiretapped Trump Tower.

Flynn, meanwhile, was one of the president's closest advisers throughout the campaign and the transition, frequently traveling on his plane.

FBI Director James Comey confirmed during a House Intelligence Committee hearing on Monday that an investigation into Russia's election-related meddling "included" an examination of contacts between Trump associates and Russian Federation during the campaign. He later accepted a job as national security adviser, one of the most important roles in the West Wing, before resigning 24 days into the new administration, after it was revealed that he had not been entirely forthcoming about his conversations with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

The White House is distancing itself from two former senior members of Donald Trump's team, amid an FBI investigation into possible connections between Trump "associates" and Russian Federation. "Obviously there has been some discussion of Paul Manafort, who played a very limited role for a very limited amount of time".

Manafort, of course, ran Trump's campaign for several months past year after original campaign manager Corey Lewandowski resigned amid controversy over his manhandling of a female Breitbart writer.

"And so to start to look at some individual that was there for a short period of time or, separately, individuals who really didn't play any role in the campaign and to suggest that those are the basis for anything is a bit ridiculous", he said. Even Stalin was more subtle when he airbrushed Nikolai Yezhov out of existence.

"I heard some names floated around before, that were hangers-on around the campaign", Spicer said of the first half of Comey's testimony.

Before the Comey hearing, Trump attempted to divert attention from his own campaign's relationship with Russia by claiming on Twitter that Hillary Clinton's campaign also had contact with the Russian government. "Indeed, they have fostered those concerns, knowingly or not".

He then accused the Democratic Party of not looking hard enough at Clinton, a lost soul wandering the NY woods in obscurity, and instead going after Trump, the leader of the free world.

Spicer pointed out that Trump used a golf round with Japanese Prime Minister in Shinzo Abe to discuss deeper relationships last month. Of the 11 trips to his Florida golf clubs, the White House has confirmed he played a round only three times, according to Knoller's tally.

It's a little late for Trump and his allies to argue that presidential golf is meaningless trivia, given that Trump himself spent months telling Americans that this was a credible metric for evaluating a president's diligence and productivity.

Spicer acknowledged he did mean them. He did not provide other examples.

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