White House press secretary Sean Spicer on Monday accused Democrats of "collusion" with Ukraine during the election.
Spicer's comments were likely based on a January report by Politico about how some Ukrainian government officials sought to help Hillary Clinton and hurt Donald Trump, who they viewed as too friendly with their hostile neighbor Russia.
The report went on write that a Ukrainian-American operative who was consulting for the Democratic National Committee "met with top officials in the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington in an effort to expose ties between Trump, top campaign aide Paul Manafort and Russia." Manafort ultimately did resign from the campaign.
Spicer took a question Monday about whether Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko had discussed making amends for their efforts to undermine Trump's campaign when the two leaders met last month.
"There's been a lot more interest in recent days with respect to what the DNC did in coordination with the Ukrainian government to try to collude and achieve a goal of having someone removed, which ultimately did happen," Spicer said. "I don't know whether that came up with the president … I know that that story and the DNC's collusion with the Ukrainian government has definitely gotten a lot more attention since that meeting, so I'm not sure that it was necessarily topical at the time."
The White House, in the form of Sean Spicer, just accused Democrats of "colluding" with Ukraine.
— Andrew Beatty (@AndrewBeatty) July 17, 2017
Spicer calls DNC meeting at Ukrainian embassy "collusion," the "DNC's collusion with the Ukrainian government"
— Emily Ngo (@epngo) July 17, 2017
Rep. Adam Schiff (D., Calif.) said Sunday that Democrats getting help of any kind from the Ukrainians was not appropriate, but he added that the efforts on their behalf did not compare to the Kremlin campaign to help Trump.
Spicer's use of the word "collusion" was in reference to the ongoing investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians to interfere in the 2016 election and hurt Clinton's candidacy.
Monday marked Spicer's first appearance at the podium in nearly three weeks.