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The week before Inauguration Day, incoming White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer had the unpleasant task of trying to dismiss the seriousness of Donald Trump’s Russia scandal.
In practice, that meant dismissing some of the figures from the Trump campaign who were implicated in the broader controversy.In the face of reports about Trump associates with controversial ties to Moscow, Spicer told reporters , for example, “Carter Page is an individual whom the president-elect does not know.” It was a curious response. During the campaign, Trump personally singled out Page as one of only a handful of people who were advising him on matters of foreign policy, but as the controversy surrounding the campaign’s ties to Russia intensified, Spicer nevertheless made it sound as if Trump couldn’t pick his own adviser out of a lineup.Today, as Politico reported , it happened again in an even more dramatic fashion. This is amazing for a couple of reasons. The first is that the claims are plainly ridiculous. Manafort was hired last year to help oversee Team Trump’s delegate-count operation, and soon after, Trump promoted him to the role of campaign chairman, the perch from which he effectively ran the entire campaign. (Manafort also reportedly helped out with personnel decisions during the transition .)