In what appeared to be a carefully-crafted response, White House press secretary Sean Spicer defended President Donald Trump against an onslaught of media questions that came up at Wednesday’s press conference about his administration’s so-called “Russian connections.”

In a series of answers triggered by a question about an old Russian connection with Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort that had been uncovered by the Associated Press, Spicer put forth a knee-jerk defense. First, Spicer said that Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, her campaign chairman, his brother, and the Obama administration had Russian connections that put Trump’s alleged connections to shame.

A menagerie of Russian connections

He then pointed out that Tony Podesta, the brother of Clinton’s campaign chair John Podesta, had lobbied to lift sanctions taken against a large Russian bank. Spicer added that when Clinton was Secretary of State she had brokered a deal that ended up ceding one-fifth of the United States' uranium reserves to Russia. Spicer then underscored the fact that former President Bill Clinton had been paid $500,000 for making a speech to a bank connected to this deal.

In the past, Spicer and other Trump supporters have pointed to these Clinton and Obama Administration Russian connections and wondered out loud why the media never spent any time investigating them in depth.

It’s hard to argue, they say, that raw, anti-Trump bias hadn't fueled such a dereliction of journalistic duty.

Manafort Russian connection still troubling

Still, it is troubling that Manafort had such close connections to the Russians, even if they were more than ten years ago. In addition, the fact he was paid millions by a Russian businessman to help build a positive image for Vladimir Putin doesn't look good on his resume.

While it's true that the best offense is a good defense, it is also true that the constant drip, drip, drip of new Russian connection revelations is taking its toll on the Trump administration. Add to this a constant barrage of Tweets from the new President that at times seem petty and childish; then you end up with a very low approval rate.

This ultimately only weakens Trump's ability to pass his key agenda such as repealing and replacing Obamacare.

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