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Republicans keep their distance from Manafort news, focus on agenda

Key Points
  • Republicans in Congress largely avoided the biggest story of the day when they took to social media.
  • GOP lawmakers mostly posted about deregulation, tax reform and federal judges.
  • House Speaker Paul Ryan seeks to assure Republicans that "nothing is going to derail what we're doing in Congress."
(L to R) Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY), Senate Finance Committee chairman Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Rep. Mike Bishop (R-MI) look on during a press event to discuss the GOP plans for tax reform, September 27, 2017 in Washington, DC.
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As news of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort's indictment ripped through official Washington on Monday, Republicans in Congress largely chose to talk about anything but the biggest story of the day.

On social media, top Republicans posted about deregulation, tax reform and federal judges, but there was barely a whisper about Manafort. House Speaker Paul Ryan reportedly told a Wisconsin radio station: "Nothing is going to derail what we're doing in Congress."

Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah directed Republicans' attention to President Donald Trump's ability to appoint like-minded judges.

Rep. Phil Roe of Tennessee focused on efforts to push through tax cuts.

West Virginia Sen. Shelley Moore Capito also focused on tax reform.

There were some Republicans, however, who commented on the breaking news. Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York took the occasion to express her support for the ongoing investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois also said he respected special counsel Robert Mueller's ongoing probe.

Bill Kristol, a leading Trump critic and founder of the conservative Weekly Standard magazine, urged Republicans to avoid defending Manafort or ripping Mueller.

The president himself also weighed in on the news, expressing his desire that investigators focus on Democrat Hillary Clinton, whom he defeated in last November's presidential election.