Trump Attacks Mueller For "Phony Witch Hunt" After Manafort Is Accused Of Lying
The morning after special counsel Robert Mueller accused former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort of lying and breaking his cooperation agreement, President Donald Trump took to Twitter to lob fresh criticism at Mueller and the Russia investigation.
The president described Mueller as "only looking at one side and not the other" and said his team is "ruining lives for them refusing to lie."
"Heroes will come of this," Trump said.
Prosecutors with Mueller's legal team told a judge Monday that Manafort breached his cooperation agreement and lied to investigators, a new court filing showed. Manafort’s legal team has disputed that charge, telling a federal judge that the embattled former Trump adviser “believes he has provided truthful information and does not agree with the government’s characterization or that he has breached the agreement.”
Trump’s latest statements renewed questions regarding a possible pardon for Manafort, who was convicted of financial crimes in August.
The president previously has expressed sympathy for Manafort’s situation, calling him a good man.
"I must tell you that Paul Manafort is a good man. He was with Ronald Reagan. He was with a lot of different people over the years. And I feel very sad about that. It doesn't involve me, but I still feel -- you know, it's a very sad thing that happened. This has nothing to do with Russian collusion. This started as Russian collusion. This has absolutely nothing to do -- this is a witch hunt, and it's a disgrace," Trump told reporters in August.
Trump also expressed admiration for Manafort’s decision to go to trial, rather than “flipping”:
"One of the reasons I respect Paul Manafort so much is he went through that trial," Trump said in an interview with FOX News in August. "This whole thing about flipping, they call it. I know all about flipping -- for 30, 40 years I've been watching flippers. Everything's wonderful and then they get 10 years in jail and they flip on whoever the next highest one is or as high as you can go. It almost ought to be outlawed. It's not fair."