White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer insisted on Monday that President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, actually played a “limited role” in the 2016 presidential campaign.
At Monday’s White House press briefing, Spicer was asked about FBI Director James Comey’s confirmation to Congress that there is an ongoing investigation into whether Trump officials colluded with the Russian government to influence the 2016 election. Several Trump allies — including Paul Manafort, Michael Flynn and Carter Page — were connected to Russia during Monday’s House hearings.
“Investigating it and having proof of it are two different things,” Spicer snapped at ABC News Correspondent Jonathan Karl. “There is a point in which you continue to search for something that everybody has been 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 downplayed Trump campaign officials who had contact with Russia as “hangers-on on the campaign.”
“There is a fine line between people who want to be part of something that they never had an official role in and people who actually played a role in the campaign and the transition,” he insisted.
“Even Gen. Flynn was a volunteer of the campaign,” Spicer added. “And there was a discussion of Paul Manafort who played a very limited role for a very limited amount of time.”
“He was the chairman!” Karl interrupted.
“Can you stop interrupting other people,” Spicer replied. “Hey, Jonathan, somebody’s asking a question. It’s not your press briefing. Please calm down.”
Watch the video below from Fox Business.