White House press secretary Sean Spicer tried to downplay scrutiny into the Trump campaign’s relationship with Russia on Monday by describing Paul Manafort, the president’s former campaign chairman, as someone “who played a very limited role for a very limited amount of time” in the effort.
Asked at Monday’s press briefing if President Donald Trump stands by his earlier comments that he is not aware of any contacts between his campaign associates and Russia, Spicer acknowledged former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s previous relationship with the country, but described him as a “volunteer of the campaign.”
And then, understating the role of Trump’s former campaign chairman, Spicer added: “There has been discussion of Paul Manafort, who played a very limited role for a very limited amount of time.” Manafort ran Trump’s campaign for several months last year before he resigned in August, while he was facing scrutiny for his ties to pro-Russian politicians in Ukraine.
Spicer: Former Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort played a “very limited” role for a “very limited period of time.” https://t.co/q3gqLwbrqb
— CNN (@CNN) March 20, 2017