Manafort Said Sean Hannity Was His Backchannel To Trump During Mueller Probe
Paul Manafort believed that Fox News host Sean Hannity was his backchannel to President Donald Trump while federal prosecutors investigated him for financial crimes, according to The Daily Beast.
Newly released memos from former special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation show the Fox News anchor’s alleged role as an unofficial messenger between the president and his former campaign chairman.
Around the time that The New York Times and other outlets began reporting on a 2016 meeting at Trump Tower between Manafort, Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, and a lawyer linked to the Krelin, Manafort described Hannity as a close friend and “certainly a backchannel” to Trump.
“Manafort knew Hannity was speaking to Trump because Hannity would tell Manafort to hang in there, that he had been talking to Trump, that Trump had his back, and things like that,” the memos said. “Manafort understood his conversations with Hannity to be a message from Trump.”
Dozens of pages of private text messages between Manafort and Hannity were released last year, which show the news anchor’s sympathy for Manafort during the Mueller investigation.
Manafort was charged with a host of financial crimes linked to his work for pro-Russian interests in Ukraine in October of 2017. He was convicted on eight counts and pleaded guilty to separate charges in Washington D.C. He is serving a seven-year prison sentence.