Trump's former campaign chairman denies involvement in Russian hacks

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Paul Manafort REUTERS/Jim Bourg Paul Manafort, then a senior aide to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, on April 27, 2016.

Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, denied on Monday having any involvement with the Russian cyberattack launched to interfere with the US election last year.

"The suggestion that I ever worked in concert with anyone to release hacked emails or sought to undermine the interests of the United States is false," Manafort said in a statement .

The denial came in response to the FBI Director James Comey's revelation on Monday that the FBI is investigating possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia's election meddling.

"Despite the constant scrutiny and innuendo, there are no facts or evidence supporting these allegations, nor will there be," Manafort said. He went on to call the allegations " a blatant attempt to discredit me and the legitimacy of the election of President Trump."

Manafort joined Trump's campaign in March 2016, and was promoted to campaign chairman in April following the dismissal of manager Corey Lewandowski. He resigned in August amid reports of his ties to Ukraine's Russian-aligned former leader.

At a press conference on Monday, White House press secretary Sean Spicer attempted to downplay Manafort's role in the Trump campaign, saying he played " very limited role for a very limited amount of time."

Read Paul Manafort's full statement below:

I had no role or involvement in the cyberattack on the DNC or the subsequent release of information gained from the attack, and I have never spoken with any Russian Government officials or anyone who claimed to have been involved in the attack. The suggestion that I ever worked in concert with anyone to release hacked emails or sought to undermine the interests of the United States is false.

Despite the constant scrutiny and innuendo, there are no facts or evidence supporting these allegations, nor will there be. I am disappointed that anyone would give credence to allegations made by individuals with clear political motives in a blatant attempt to discredit me and the legitimacy of the election of President Trump."

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