President Donald Trump on Thursday said he knew "nothing" about his then-campaign chief Paul Manafort sharing polling data with an alleged Russian spy during the 2016 presidential campaign.
Trump's comment came two days after Manafort's criminal defense lawyers inadvertently disclosed that special counsel Robert Mueller has accused Manafort of lying about sharing such data with alleged spy Konstantin Kilimnik.
The disclosure that Manafort had given Kilimnik polling data is the strongest piece of public evidence that a high-ranking Trump campaign official may have been coordinating with Russians in an illegal effort to get Trump elected. Such data could have been used by Russia as part of a broad-ranging scheme, which involved bogus social media accounts, to manipulate public opinion in Trump's favor.
"Mr. President, did you know that Paul Manafort was sharing polling data from your campaign with the Russians?" a reporter asked Trump at the White House on Thursday.