Trump shies away from Manafort, Cohen news in rally

Trump shies away from Manafort, Cohen news in rally

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President Donald Trump held a rally Tuesday night in Charleston, W.V. (Trump campaign livestream.)

WASHINGTON — Donald Trump failed to mention either Paul Manafort or Michael Cohen during a Tuesday night rally, the president’s first set of extended remarks following the guilty verdict of his former campaign chair and guilty plea of his former longtime personal attorney.

Appearing before a raucous crowd in Charleston, West Virginia, Trump touched on topics ranging from Middle East peace to the coal industry to his late mother’s cooking.

He also emphasized his endorsement for Republican senatorial candidate Patrick Morrisey, the basis for the campaign event.

The closest Trump came during a speech that extended an hour was a condemnation of the Russia “witch hunt,” the president’s term to describe Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller’s probe.

“Where is the collusion? You know, they’re still looking for collusion. Where is the collusion? Find some collusion. We want to find the collusion,” Trump teased.

On Tuesday, Trump’s one-time campaign chair Paul Manafort was found guilty on eight charges related to failing to report a foreign bank account along with tax and bank fraud.

The judge declared a mistrial for 10 remaining charges.

Cohen pleaded guilty to eight charges, including two campaign finance violations that he said he carried out at Trump’s direction. Trump and his former attorney and self-described fixer parted ways several months ago.

Neither of the legal developments had direct ties to the ongoing investigation into potential collusion between Trump’s 2016 campaign and the Russian government.

Prior to arriving at the site of Tuesday’s rally, Trump briefly addressed the developments with reporters on the tarmac, stating that he felt bad for both men, but emphasizing that Manafort was a good person.

He also noted that his campaign chair’s guilty verdict had nothing to do with Russia.

The president discussed several topics during his rally before enthusiastic supporters. (Donald J. Trump/Twitter)
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