Sean Spicer: No Parity in Russia Probe


"Before President Obama left office, [former Trump National Security Adviser] Michael Flynn was unmasked and then illegally his identity was leaked out to media outlets, despite the fact that, as NSA Director [Mike] Rogers said, that unmasking and revealing individuals endangers 'national security", the press secretary said.

And curiously in the above clip, Spicer tried to shift the Russian Federation focus by making two outlandish claims: (1) Paul Manafort only played a "very limited" part in the Trump campaign for a "very limited period of time"; (2) Gen. Michael Flynn was only a "volunteer" during the campaign.

However, Manafort was hired as campaign chairman in March 2016 and stuck around until August, when he was replaced - in varying capacities - by Kellyanne Conway and Steve Bannon after Manafort's name surfaced in a secret ledger of Ukraine funds.

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Spicer also sought to downplay testimony by Comey that there is an ongoing counterintelligence investigation into the Russian government's efforts to interfere in the 2016 election and that the probe extends to the nature of any links between Trump campaign associates and the Russian government.

"How you use the game of golf is something that he's talked about", Spicer said of the president. Presumably, if it comes out that Manafort or anyone else linked to the campaign was recorded incidentally during surveillance of Russian officials, the White House will declare itself vindicated.

As for Flynn, he acted as a top national security advisor during the campaign. "When you look at the Obama history. the Clinton involvement with Russia in terms of donations that the Clinton received from Russian entities, the idea that they sold off tremendous amount of the uranium to the Russian government, and yet where was the concern for that?" What are we doing to look into that? "What did they get?" The man is just asking questions! One of his campaign promises, the Washington Post reports, included giving Americans a leader who "doesn't have time to go play golf."

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After Spicer referred to people he considered "hangers on" of the campaign, he was asked if he meant Stone, the longtime Trump strategist who parted with the campaign in August 2015, and Carter Page, an investment banker who provided Team Trump with some policy advice.

"You saw him utilize this as opportunity with Prime Minister Abe to help foster deeper relationships in Asia and have a growing relationship that's going to help US interests", Spicer told reporters.

It's particularly noteworthy that Walker's question highlighted the contradictory nature of Trump's own frequent golf trips and the constant criticism he issued against Barack Obama before and after he became a presidential candidate. But because he used to slam President Obama, saying things like, "He played more golf previous year than Tiger Woods", Trump is getting heat because he's been doing so much golfing. He did not provide other examples.

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On Monday, FBI Director James Comey testified before Congress that he had "no evidence" supporting Trump's claims. But the top lawmakers on both committees have said they have seen no indications that Trump Tower was wiretapped.