White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer grew more forceful with his condemnation of repeated questions about President Donald Trump’s ties to Russia in his daily press briefing Monday.
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Spicer’s conversation with reporters Monday would suggest that the investigation has been thorough and has turned up nothing.
When asked about the state of the investigation, Spicer said, “I think Russia’s involvement in campaign activity has been investigated up and down. The question becomes, if there is nothing further to investigate, then what are you asking people to investigate?”
The “you” in his question is, of course, reporters who have not let the subject go.
“The president has said time and time again that he has no [business] interests in Russia, and hasn’t talked to people from Russia for years,” Spicer snapped.
Spicer isn’t the only one fielding constant questions on President Trump’s ties to Russia. The President, whenever he takes questions, is inevitably asked to defend his relationship with the country and explain the role it might have played in the 2016 election.
Earlier Monday, Trump was speaking to a gathering of insurance company executives. “I haven’t called Russia in 10 years,” Trump told the CEOs.
This is, of course, hyperbole. He traveled to Russia in 2013 for Miss Universe pageant.
The political pressure has been mounting, though, even from Trump’s own party. Many have called for a special prosecutor to take on the investigation.
“A special prosecutor for what?” Spicer asked when asked about the possibility of a special prosecutor. “How many people have to say there is nothing there, before you realize that there is nothing there?”
Spicer’s role as Press Secretary continues to veer toward damage control. Late last week Trump’s team was accused by members of the media of improperly asking the FBI to refute claims made by The New York Times that tied Trump to Russia.
Spicer, though, maintains that the FBI contacted the White House to tell them that the agency was aware that the story contained elements that were untrue. Despite this, the FBI declined the opportunity to set the record straight with the Times.
“As I mentioned I think a week ago, the New York Times published a story about what they called “contacts” between members of the Trump campaign and Russian officials. The FBI deputy director was at a meeting here at the White House that morning. After the meeting concluded, he asked the chief of staff to stand back a second, he wanted to tell him that the report in the New York Times was “BS.” For viewers at home, I think you can pretty much figure what that means, but I’ll leave it at that.”
“At that time, the chief of staff said, thank you for sharing that with me, can we let other people know that the story is not accurate. Throughout the day, they went back and forth to see what they thought was appropriate. Finally, came to the conclusion that they did not want to get in the process of knocking down every story that they had issues with.”