Media is 'obsessed' with Russian Federation probe, but Americans don't care: White House

Also announced by Mueller was a guilty plea by George Papadopolous, a former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser, to making false statements to Federal Bureau of Investigation agents.

As she spoke, CNN cited its report that Trump was "seething" behind the scenes after reports of the indictments on Monday, and noted that Trump has frequently tweeted about the probe.

"He reached out and nothing happened beyond that - which, I think, shows, one, his level of importance in the campaign, and, two, shows what little role he had within coordinating anything officially for the campaign", Sarah Sanders, President Trump's press secretary told reporters.

Papadopoulos, who is 30 years old, joined the Trump campaign in early March 2016 as a foreign adviser.

Investigators probing Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential elections have indicted Manafort and Gates on 12 counts including conspiracy against the United States, failing to declare themselves as foreign agents while working for the Ukrainian government, concealing foreign income to avoid paying taxes and making false statements.

Throughout the briefing, Sanders continued to distance the Trump campaign from the activities of Manafort, Gates and Papadopoulos.

Sanders emphasized that she's "not sure that the president recalls specific details" of a March 31 national security team meeting at Trump International Hotel in Washington, which Papadopoulos was present.

All of the charges fell short of implicating Mr. Trump or campaign officials in conspiring with Russian Federation to affect the outcome of the election.

"What Papadopoulos did was lie and that's on him, not the campaign", said Mrs. Sanders.

In fact, Papadopoulos was contacted after he learned he'd be joining the campaign, and the professor only mentioned the "thousands of emails" after he'd been on the Trump campaign for more than a month.