Democratic Senator Chris Coons of DE released a statement accusing White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer of mischaracterizing comments he made on Sunday about potential collusion between Russian officials and the Trump 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.
Spicer said during Monday's press briefing that hearings are still ongoing that relate to the issue of wiretapping.
Manafort left the Trump campaign in August amid scrutiny over his ties to pro-Putin politicians, and was named earlier this year as a target of a us probe into Trump and his associates' ties to Russian Federation.
Spicer, said earlier this month that Trump was "extremely confident" the Department of Justice would find evidence that the Obama administration wiretapped him before the election.
"Just to be clear, I'm not dismissing Paul Manafort as a hanger-on", he said, before referring to Carter Page and Roger Stone: "I was noting some other folks that Jonathan pointed out". "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 ..." I think at some point, people that got thrown around at the beginning of this hearing, some of those names, the greatest amount of interaction they have had was a cease and desist letters sent to them.
"During the campaign, before the election", AP's Julie Pace specified.
"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 in the statement.
"There's been a discussion of Paul Manafort, who played a very limited role for a very limited amount of time", said Spicer, who clarified that Trump stands by earlier claims that he wasn't aware of contact between campaign officials and Russian Federation during the election.
"By the middle of August, he was no longer with the campaign, meaning that for the final stretch of the general election he was not involved", Spicer said.
Spicer was also asked if anyone from the White House has interviewed with the FBI as part of the investigation.
"Mr. Spicer would do well to quote me accurately and fully in the future", Coons wrote.