Trump Praises Manafort, Says He “Refused to Break” Unlike Cohen

The president attacked Mr. Cohen as a bad lawyer.

paul manafort
Paul Manafort on March 8, 2018 in Alexandria, Virginia. (Getty Images)
Getty Images

Donald Trump praised his just-convicted former campaign chairman for refusing to “break” and cooperate with federal prosecutors investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, according to The New York Times, therefore expressing appreciation for the personal loyalty of a felon found guilty of defrauding the United States government.

The day after Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chief, was convicted of tax and bank fraud, and Michael Cohen, Trump’s longtime personal lawyer, pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations, the president sent a series of tweets that seemed to convey he was more concerned with the fallout for himself than any of the crimes.

In the tweets, Trump compared Cohen unfavorably with Manafort, calling Cohen a bad lawyer who had caved to pressure, while lauding Manafort as a “brave man” with a “wonderful family” who stayed strong.

During a news briefing at the White House on Wednesday, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said there was no crisis afoot in the West Wing, and that neither Manafort’s conviction nor Cohen’s guilty plea had anything to do with Trump.

“The president has done nothing wrong,” Ms. Sanders said, according to The Times. “There are no charges against him. There is no collusion.”

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