White House's New Tactic On Former Campaign Chief: Manafort Who?

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The US Department of Treasury is probing offshore financial activity from President Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort, according to a new report. In selling his services to Russian aluminum magnate Oleg Deripaska, a close Putin ally, Manafort touted his close ties to the Bush White House. In August, as investigative reports aired details of Manafort's Washington lobbying to promote the pro-Russia Yanukovych government in Ukraine - lobbying never disclosed to the Justice Department -

"It would be inappropriate for us to comment on a person who is not a White House employee", Spicer said.

The AP's reporting about Manafort's activities "undermines the groundless assertions that the administration has been making that there are no ties between President Trump and Russian Federation". "My work for Mr Deripaska did not involve representing Russian political interests".

Information about Manafort's transactions was turned over earlier this year to USA agents working in the Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network by investigators in Cyprus at the US agency's request, a person familiar with the case said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to publicly discuss a criminal investigation. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., who is a member of the Senate intelligence committee, said revelations about Manafort's work were "serious and disturbing".

"To start to look at some individual that was there for a short period of time, or, separately, individuals who really didn't play any role in the campaign, and to suggest that those are the basis for anything is a bit ridiculous", Spicer said Monday during a White House briefing.

As part of their investigation, US officials were expected to look into millions of dollars' worth of wire transfers to Manafort.

He has been a leading focus of the USA government's investigation into whether Trump associates co-ordinated with Moscow to meddle in the 2016 campaign.

"I definitely do have concerns about that news report", Collins told CNN.

The disclosure "undermines the groundless assertions that the administration has been making that there are no ties between President Trump and Russian Federation".

A cloud of suspicion has hung over Trump since the United States government confirmed that the Russian government interfered in the presidential election with the aim of hurting Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and helping Trump.

On Tuesday, while appearing on on "Fox & Friends, ' Conway said that that Carter Page, a onetime campaign foreign policy adviser, and J.D. Gordon, who served as a national security adviser, were 'fringe players" whom Trump doesn't know personally.

"I take Paul at his word that he was working on business interests for Oleg and it wasn't tied to the Russian government", Scaramucci said Wednesday on CNN's "New Day".