During the campaign, Flynn was a top adviser and, at one point, was vetted to become Trump's running mate. And when campaign manager Corey Lewandowski was sacked in June, Manafort - who butted heads with Lewandowski - was widely seen as the campaign's top official. "There has been discussion of Paul Manafort, who played a very limited role for a very limited amount of time", Spicer said, retroactively demoting Manafort. As power centers within the Trump campaign in August began to shift away from him to Breitbart News chief Steve Bannon as campaign CEO and Kellyanne Conway as campaign manager, the former lobbyist stepped down from his campaign.
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.
Manafort was promoted in May to campaign chairman and chief strategist. Even Stalin was more subtle when he airbrushed Nikolai Yezhov out of existence.
"And so to start to look at some individual that was there for a short period of time or, separately, individuals who really didn't play any role in the campaign and to suggest that those are the basis for anything is a bit ridiculous", he said. Within seconds, Spicer attempts to bring Hillary Clinton into the mess.
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. Spicer asked of the Russians, noting how Clinton had signed off on a uranium deal with Russia when she served as secretary of state.
Roughly 45 minutes into today's briefing, National Journal's George Condon raised the issue, asking Spicer if reporters could assume that when he reads news articles from the White House podium, he is "vouching for the accuracy of those articles".
Spicer argued that Trump critics have focused too narrowly on the president's use of the term "wiretapping" when he first levelled his explosive charge against former president Barack Obama on Twitter more than two weeks ago. "I'm not going to have time to go play golf". "One is, you saw him utilize this as an opportunity with [Japanese] Prime Minister [Shinzo] Abe to help foster deeper relationship.in Asia. and have a growing relationship that is going to help US interests". "Just because he heads there doesn't mean that's what's happening".