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Trump: “Very unfair” that Manafort was sent to jail after alleged witness tampering

He’s also been trying to distance himself from his former campaign chair.

Paul Manafort Arraigned On New Charges Of Witness Tampering Mark Wilson/Getty Images
Jen Kirby is a senior foreign and national security reporter at Vox, where she covers global instability.

President Trump responded to a judge’s decision to send Paul Manafort to jail by ticking off his former campaign chair’s résumé.

“Wow, what a tough sentence for Paul Manafort, who has represented Ronald Reagan, Bob Dole and many other top political people and campaigns,” Trump tweeted Friday afternoon. “Didn’t know Manafort was the head of the Mob. What about Comey and Crooked Hillary and all of the others? Very unfair!”

To be clear, Manafort hasn’t been sentenced yet. A federal judge sent him to jail to await his trial after finding that Manafort violated the terms of his house arrest.

Manafort has been indicted on 25 charges in Virginia and Washington, DC, which include money laundering and allegations that he made false statements about his work on behalf of a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine.

Last week, special counsel Robert Mueller filed additional charges against Manafort (and another of his associates) for alleged attempts to engage in witness tampering. The judge on Friday didn’t find Manafort guilty on those charges, but rather said there was enough probable cause to indicate that he’d violated the terms of his house arrest, and so sent him to await trial behind bars.

Trump says guy who ran campaign had nothing to do with it

Trump’s tweet this afternoon came after Trump tried (once again) to distance himself from Manafort.

The president told reporters Friday that his former campaign chair “has nothing to do with our campaign.”

Trump also reminded reporters that Manafort had worked for many other Republican politicians, and then tried to downplay Manafort’s time with his own campaign. “He worked for me for what? For 49 days or something? A very short period of time,” Trump said.

Manafort was the chair of Trump’s campaign from March to August 2016 — a total of 144 days.

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