Trump says he hasn't discussed Manafort pardon, feels 'very badly' for him

Trump says he hasn't discussed Manafort pardon, feels 'very badly' for him
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpGraham to introduce resolution condemning House impeachment inquiry Support for impeachment inches up in poll Fox News's Bret Baier calls Trump's attacks on media 'a problem' MORE on Friday said he feels “very badly” for Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortEx-Clinton lawyer predicts at least one count of obstruction of justice from Trump impeachment inquiry New York City lawmakers vote to close Rikers Island jail by 2026 Perry says Trump directed him to discuss Ukraine with Giuliani: report MORE, who was sentenced to four years in prison for financial crimes unearthed by special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerFox News legal analyst says Trump call with Ukraine leader could be 'more serious' than what Mueller 'dragged up' Lewandowski says Mueller report was 'very clear' in proving 'there was no obstruction,' despite having 'never' read it Fox's Cavuto roasts Trump over criticism of network MORE, but added he has not discussed a pardon for his former campaign chairman.

“I feel very badly for Paul Manafort. I think it’s a very, very tough time for him,” he told reporters at the White House.

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Asked about a possible pardon, Trump said, “I haven’t discussed it,” and added the only people floating clemency for Manafort are members of the news media.

The president said he was “honored” by remarks from the “highly respected” judge at Manafort’s sentencing that “there was no collusion with Russia.”

“It has nothing to do with collusion. There was no collusion. It’s a collusion hoax,” Trump said.

The president was echoing comments he made in a tweet earlier Friday morning.

Trump, however, misrepresented comments made by Judge T.S. Ellis III in court.

Ellis said Manafort was “not before the court for anything having to do with colluding with the Russian government to influence the election” but did not clear the Trump campaign of collusion or other wrongdoing.

Manafort was sentenced to four years in prison after being convicted on charges of bank and tax fraud, a punishment that was well below sentencing guidelines. He still faces sentencing in a Washington, D.C., court for convictions related to the Mueller investigation.

The charges stemmed from Manafort’s lobbying for a pro-Russia political party in Ukraine and not from Mueller’s core focus on whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to interfere in the 2016 election.