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 TrumpFeinstein, Iranian foreign minister had dinner amid tensions: report The Hill's Morning Report - Trump says no legislation until Dems end probes Harris readies a Phase 2 as she seeks to rejuvenate campaign MORE on Friday said he feels “very badly” for Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortHouse Democrat 'fixed' Trump's infographic about Mueller's investigation Michael Caputo eyes congressional bid Roger Stone considers suing to discover if he was spied on by FBI MORE, who was sentenced to four years in prison for financial crimes unearthed by special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerHouse progressive: Pelosi 'has it right' on impeachment Democrats talk subpoena for Mueller Democratic Rep. Ro Khanna: 'I'm not there yet' on impeachment 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.