White House tries to distance Trump from campaign aides

Trump golf trips: President's 11 outings on pace to out-golf Obama

Spicer, pressed on a number of Trump associates' connections to Russian operatives, claimed Manafort played a "limited role (in the campaign) for a very limited amount of time".

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.

That depends on what he means by the word "limited".

On Sunday, the White House released another late-day account of the president's day, including a call with the president of Chile.

Manafort was hired by the Trump campaign in March 2016 to lead the delegate operation on the floor of the Republican National Committee in Cleveland. Manafort later resigned in August, while he was facing scrutiny for his ties to pro-Russian politicians in Ukraine. I think it is fine to look into it but at the end of the day, they're going to come to the same conclusion everybody else has had.

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.

After FBI Director James Comey testified to Congress that the bureau is actively investigating whether there are any links between Donald Trump's campaign and Russian Federation, the White House went to incredible lengths to distance the president from some of his closest allies during the campaign - including one of his three campaign managers.

"I have been authorized by the Department of Justice to confirm that the FBI is investigating Russia's interference in the U.S. election", Comey said, which "includes whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russian efforts".

"It's clear nothing has changed", Spicer said of Comey's revelation.

Some commentators said Spicer appeared "shaken―even frightened" during the briefing.

"By the middle of August", Spicer said of Manafort, "he was no longer with the campaign, meaning that for the final stretch of the general election he was not involved". Clapper is the former national intelligence director.

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

"For Mr. Spicer's sake, let me be clear once again: Though I have not seen specific evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian officials, there is quite a bit of circumstantial evidence that suggests collusion may have occurred, including confirmation just this morning that the FBI is investigating potential collusion between the campaign and Russian officials", Coons said.

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