Spicer Downplays Manafort's 'Limited Role' on Team Trump

Brunilde Fioravanti
Marzo 21, 2017

But pressed on his initial comment about Manafort, Spicer later said that he was not trying to demote the former campaign chairman but rather note he was not with the campaign at the end.

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

So why won't the White House be more forthcoming about his time on the course?

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".

Back in the halcyon days of 2016, Paul Manafort was considered among the most powerful advisers in Trump's orbit, after the longtime strategist was brought onboard the campaign to plot a brokered convention strategy, replacing Corey Lewandowski as Trump's presidential campaign adviser after he won the nomination.

During a congressional hearing Monday examining Russian meddling in the 2016 election and possible connections between Moscow and Trump's aides, FBI Director James Comey was asked about various campaign advisers and staffers, including Carter Page, whom Trump once named as one of his foreign policy advisers.

It has also been revealed - through golf blogs and media reports - that Trump has played with top professional golfers such as Rory McIlroy, one of the top-ranked golfers in the world. Even Stalin was more subtle when he airbrushed Nikolai Yezhov out of existence.

"Obviously there has been some discussion of Paul Manafort, who played a very limited role for a very limited amount of time", said Spicer, who ignored a follow-up request for clarification, given Manafort's position.

Since taking office, however, Trump, an avid golfer who is reportedly a better player than his predecessor, has not shied away from his favourite pastime.

Spicer: Okay, Jonathan, somebody's asking a question. "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.

Donald Trump also appears to have reversed on a common criticism of Obama, namely how much the Democratic president spent golfing.

Trump and Japan's Abe played golf on February 11 at Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, then visited Trump International Golf Club in unincorporated West Palm Beach.

"How you use the game of golf is something that he's talked about", said Spicer. "So just because he heads there doesn't mean that that's what's happening", Spicer said.

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