Trump calls convicted Manafort ‘a good man’ but mostly stays mum on...

Trump calls convicted Manafort ‘a good man’ but mostly stays mum on Cohen’s stunning plea deal

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President Donald Trump speaks at Fort Drum, New York, last week (Sgt. Thomas Scaggs/U.S. Army)

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump addressed Paul Manafort’s conviction shortly after landing in West Virginia Tuesday evening, telling reporters that he feels “very sad” about it, but he would not answer questions about Michael Cohen, whose plea deal implicated the president.

“I must tell you that Paul Manafort’s a good man,” Trump said.
The president emphasized that the verdict is not related to potential collusion between his 2016 campaign and the Russian government, which is currently the subject of Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s ongoing probe.
“This has nothing to do what they started out, looking for Russians involved in our campaign,” Trump said. “There were none.”
He called the prosecution “a witch hunt and a disgrace.”
The president went on to note that Manafort, who worked as Trump’s one-time campaign chairperson for five months in 2016, also had worked for the late President Ronald Reagan and former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole. 
Although Trump did not respond directly to reporters’ questions about Cohen’s plea deal, while discussing Manafort the president did say: “They’re both good men,” in an apparent reference in Cohen.

Trump’s personal attorney, Rudolph Giuliani, said in a statement released Tuesday evening: “There is no allegation of any wrongdoing against the president in the government’s charges against Mr. Cohen.”

“It is clear that, as the prosecutor noted, Mr. Cohen’s actions reflect a pattern of lies and dishonesty over a significant period of time.”

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders declined to give any additional comments on the day’s developments, referring to the president’s remarks and Giuliani’s statement, respectively.

Trump is appearing at a rally tonight in Charleston, West Virginia, where he will push his administration’s proposal to allow states to determine their own emissions standards for coal-fueled power plants. He is also in the state to support Republican Patrick Morrisey, who is challenging Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin in the midterm elections for a West Virginia seat in the U.S. senate.

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