Giuliani: Trump asked for advice about potentially pardoning Manafort

President TrumpDonald John Trump2020 Democrats spar over socialism ahead of first debate Senate passes .5 billion border bill, setting up fight with House 'Teflon Don' avoids the scorn of the 'family values' GOP — again MORE's attorney Rudy Giuliani initially said Thursday that Trump had asked for advice on whether to pardon his former campaign chairman, Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortREAD: Hannity, Manafort messages released by judge Manafort, Hannity talk Trump, Mueller in previously undisclosed messages FBI, warned early and often that Manafort file might be fake, used it anyway MORE.

Giuliani told The Washington Post that Trump sought advice while Manafort's financial fraud trial was taking place, and that the president felt that Manafort was being mistreated by federal prosecutors.

However, Giuliani clarified hours later in a statement that his "only conversation about a pardon was a generic one that occurred" in early or mid-June.

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"The conversation came about because there had been several pardons and the press kept asking about pardons and I wanted to give one answer,” Giuliani maintained.

Giuliani said he brought up the topic of pardons with Trump "in early June, latest mid-June, and "he said there would be no pardons for anyone involved in the investigation during the pendency of the investigation. It was not Manafort specific, rather it was generic."

The Trump lawyer had said earlier Thursday that the president's legal team had advocated against issuing a pardon in Manafort's case, saying Trump should wait until after special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerTop Republican considered Mueller subpoena to box in Democrats Kamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Dem committees win new powers to investigate Trump MORE concludes his Russia probe. 

Giuliani's remarks come two days after Manafort was convicted on eight charges of bank and tax fraud.

Guiliani told The Post that Trump sought the legal advice as he grew agitated over Manafort's exposure on charges unrelated to his work for Trump. Guiliani and fellow attorney, Jay Sekulow, counseled Trump to wait to see if special counsel Robert Mueller released a potentially damaging report regarding the Russia investigation.

“We told him he should wait until all the investigations are over,” Giuliani told the Post. “This [Special Counsel] case is a strange case. It won’t be decided by a jury. It will decided by the Justice Department and Congress and ultimately the American people. You have to be sensitive to public optics."

Trump has issued strong support for Manafort since Tuesday’s conviction. He praised Manafort as “brave” shortly after he was found guilty of five counts of tax fraud, two counts of bank fraud and one count of failing to disclose a foreign bank account.

Asked on Wednesday if Trump was considering a pardon for Manafort, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that the president “hadn’t been thinking about that at all.”

“I’m not aware of any conversations regarding that,” she said during a press briefing. “Other than when he was asked by a news outlet earlier this week that he said he hadn’t been thinking about that all."

Giuliani has previously said that the president would not pardon any of his allies implicated in Mueller’s investigation while the probe was ongoing.

“The president has issued no pardons in this investigation. The president is not going to issue pardons in this investigation,” he said on CNN in June.

He added that when Mueller’s probe into Russia election interference concludes, Trump would be free to exercise his presidential pardon power if he felt it was necessary. 

Updated: 9:25 p.m.