President Donald Trump said that his former campaign manager Paul Manafort was a “good man” but stressed that his conviction on Tuesday did not involve the Trump campaign.
“I must tell you that Paul Manafort’s a good man,” Trump said to reporters during a trip to West Virginia for a campaign rally. “It doesn’t involve me, but I still feel, you know, it’s a very sad thing that happened.”
The trial jury ruled on Tuesday afternoon that Manafort was guilty of eight of the 18 felony counts he faced, including bank fraud and tax evasion.
Trump suggested that Manafort was first prosecuted so that they could get details on the ongoing Russia investigation.
“This has nothing to do with what they started out looking for – Russians involved in our campaign,” he said. “There were none.”
Trump reminded reporters that Manafort worked for a number of political candidates in Washington, DC, including President Ronald Reagan and political candidate Bob Dole.
The president repeated his condemnation of Mueller’s investigation as well as the prosecution of Manafort.
“It’s a witch hunt, and it’s a disgrace,” he said.