White House on Manafort: Trump did nothing wrong

 
“Certainly I remain confident in the White House’s assertion that the president was involved in no wrongdoing, was not involved in any collusion," White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters at her first on-camera briefing in a month.
 
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She referred questions about Manafort's conduct to his attorneys. Her assertion of innocence did not cover anyone else who worked on the Trump campaign. 
 
The Guardian reported Tuesday that Manafort had multiple clandestine meetings with Assange, including close to the time he joined the Trump campaign.

Manafort reportedly met with Assange in 2013, 2015 and the spring of 2016 at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where the WikiLeaks founder has been holed up since 2012 in order to evade legal battles. Manafort worked on the campaign between March and August of 2016.

The reported meetings are likely to draw the interest of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE, who is investigating allegations of collusion between Trump’s campaign and Moscow.
 
Months after Manafort reportedly last met with Assange, WikiLeaks released a trove of emails that had been stolen from the Democratic National Committee and other Democratic officials. U.S. officials have said Russian intelligence officers were behind the theft of the emails.
 
Manafort has denied any involvement with the hack.
 
Sanders also said she was not aware of any discussions involving a pardon for Manafort, who was found guilty on federal crimes related to his work for a pro-Russia political party in Ukraine, charges that were brought in connection with Mueller’s probe. 
 
“I’m not aware of any conversations for anyone’s pardon involving this process at all,” Sanders said.

Manafort was convicted on eight counts of bank and tax fraud in federal court in Virginia over the summer before agreeing to plead guilty and cooperate with the special counsel to avert a second federal trial in D.C.

He had been viewed as a significant cooperator in Mueller’s probe.
 
However, in a blockbuster court filing on Monday, Mueller accused Manafort of lying to investigators on a variety of subjects in breach of his agreement, asking the court to schedule his sentencing. Manafort maintains that he told the truth and did not violate his plea agreement.

Trump has increasingly criticized Mueller’s investigation, accusing the special counsel in a series of early-morning tweets on Tuesday of damaging the criminal justice system.

Sanders would not comment on the developments regarding Manafort’s cooperation but said the president and administration have been “fully cooperative” with the special counsel.

“We also know that there was no collusion and we’re ready for this to wrap up,” she said.