Trump mum on Manafort pardon: 'It's a very sad situation'

Trump mum on Manafort pardon: 'It's a very sad situation'
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpGrassroots America shows the people support Donald Trump Trump speaks to rebel Libyan general attacking Tripoli Dem lawmaker: Mueller report shows 'substantial body of evidence' on obstruction MORE said Wednesday he feels “very badly” for Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortNew normal: A president can freely interfere with investigations without going to jail Kremlin: No evidence of election interference in Mueller report Heavily redacted Mueller report leaves major questions unanswered MORE after his former campaign chairman’s prison sentence was increased to 7 ½ years, but he would not say if he would offer Manafort a pardon.

“It’s a very sad situation,” Trump told reporters at the White House. “Certainly on a human basis, it’s a very sad thing. I feel badly for him.”

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Trump said he has not thought about a pardon for Manafort, who was convicted of a slew of financial crimes in special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE’s investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election. But he also did not rule out the possibility.

“I have not even given it a thought as of this moment. It’s not something that’s right now on my mind,” the president said.

Minutes after Manafort’s sentencing in Washington, D.C., the Manhattan district attorney charged the once powerful Republican consultant in a mortgage fraud scheme.

If Manafort is convicted in that case, Trump could not offer him clemency, as it is a state case.

U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson added 43 months to Manafort’s prison term earlier Wednesday. He faced a maximum of 10 years after pleading guilty to conspiracy charges and other crimes.

A Virginia-based federal judge sentenced Manafort to just under four years in prison last week.