Published: Tue, March 21, 2017
Global Media | By Meredith Barber

Trump golf trips: President's 11 outings on pace to out-golf Obama

Trump golf trips: President's 11 outings on pace to out-golf Obama

"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.

Paul Manafort, who briefly served as President Donald Trump's campaign chairman a year ago, served a "very limited role" within the campaign, the White House said Monday.

That depends on what he means by the word "limited".

Manafort became Trump's campaign manager in March 2016, amid the team's effort to lock up the GOP nomination ahead of the Republican National Convention.

But Manafort's control did not last through Election Day. At an event in New Hampshire in February 2016, while again complaining about Obama golfing, Trump declared that if he were in office, "I'd want to stay in the White House and work my ass off". Earlier this year, Manafort denied any collusion with the Russians in an interviewwith the New York Times. Earlier this month, it was revealed that Manafort was targeted for blackmail by Ukrainians who claimed to have proof that he received $12.7 million in cash payments from an organization supporting pro-Russian former Ukraine Pres. Viktor Yanukovych. Manafort resigned that day.

Monday's House Intelligence Committee hearing with Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey and National Security Agency director Mike Rogers was a hot topic early and often, with Spicer saying there are "a lot more questions that answers" when it comes to government surveillance.

Trump has played golf at least 10 times since becoming president in late January, despite the fact that he teed off several times at his immediate predecessor Obama for indulging that very same hobby while in office.

"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.

In a written statement Monday, Coons said he was disappointed by what he described as Spicer's blatant mischaracterization that lacked full context. "I believe they exist". "Meaning that for the entire final stretch of the general election, he was not involved".

On Monday, Spicer attempted to distance Trump from the controversial figures who helped propel the president into the White House.

"The greatest interaction they had with the campaign was the campaign sending them a series of cease and desist letters", Spicer said.

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