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Sean Spicer retreats on Manafort: ‘Inappropriate to comment on a person who is not a White House employee’

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White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer refused to comment on Wednesday after news broke that former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort had once pushed a plan that was meant to “greatly benefit the Putin Government.”

The Associated Press reported this week that Manafort had secretly signed a $10 million contract with Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska to advance Putin’s agenda beginning in 2006.

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“We are now of the belief that this model can greatly benefit the Putin Government if employed at the correct levels with the appropriate commitment to success,” Manafort wrote in a 2005 memo to Deripaska, adding that the plan would “re-focus, both internally and externally, the policies of the Putin government.”

The new report contradicts claims made by Trump that Manafort had not worked on behalf of Russian interests.

NBC’s Peter Alexander found that the White House was unusually tight-lipped when he asked Spicer for a comment on Wednesday.

“It would be inappropriate for us to comment on a person who is not a White House employee,” the press secretary insisted.

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Earlier this week, Spicer downplayed the five months Manafort spent running Trump’s campaign, calling him someone “who played a very limited role for a very limited amount of time.”


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‘Trump literally just confessed to the crime’: Pennsylvania Democrat

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Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-PA) believes President Donald Trump confessed to bribing or extorting Ukraine in an effort to dig up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden.

The president told reporters Monday morning at the United Nations that he had withheld foreign aid from Ukraine as he discussed alleged corruption involving Biden, the Democratic presidential frontrunner.

"It's very important to talk about corruption," Trump. "If you don't talk about corruption, why would you give money to a country that you think is corrupt?...It's very important that on occasion you speak to somebody about corruption."

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Trump’s jumbled response to Ukraine scandal is a strong signal of what’s to come: columnist

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On Monday, President Donald Trump denied allegations that he extorted the president of Ukraine for information about Joe Biden. “It’s a ridiculous story,” Trump said during an appearance at the United Nations.

The controversy emerged after an anonymous whistleblower in the intelligence community logged a complaint with their agency about improper behavior by the president on a phone call with a foreign leader. “It’s a partisan whistleblower,” the president added.

Previously, the president's lawyer Rudy Giuliani had traveled to Ukraine to dig up dirt on Joe Biden. Critics worry that during a conversation with the president of Ukraine about rooting out corruption in his country, Trump suggested he offer information about Biden in exchange for funding.

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FBI arrests far-right extremist who talked about ‘bombing a major U.S. news network’: report

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The FBI has arrested a member of the United States Army who allegedly talked about plans to carry out acts of violence in the U.S.

According to ABC News' Mike Levine, the arrested man "allegedly discussed plans to bomb a major U.S. news network, discussed traveling to Ukraine to fight with violent far-right group, and allegedly distributed info online on how to build bombs."

Levine also reports that the arrested man also made mention of Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke, who made headlines during a recent primary debate by saying he wanted to confiscate AR-15s and AK-47s. It is not known at this time if the man made a direct threat to O'Rourke, however.

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