President Donald Trumpspoke in support of Paul Manafort after the former Trump former campaign chief was convicted of fraud charges, but the president was silent about the guilty plea of his former lawyer and fixer, Michael Cohen.
"Paul Manafort is a good man. ... It doesn't involve me but it's a very sad thing. ... It had nothing to do with Russian collusion," Trump told reporters Tuesday during a campaign trip to West Virginia.
Trump pointedly ignored any mention of Cohen, who indirectly implicated Trump in two counts of felony campaign finance violations.
Cohen pleaded guilty to eight felonies in federal court for the Southern District of New York, marking the end of a monthslong saga that burst into public view in early April, when FBI agents raided the attorney's home, office and hotel room, and seized hundreds of thousands of files.
At nearly the same time on Tuesday afternoon, a jury convicted Manafort of eight of 18 counts in a case handled by special counsel Robert Mueller in Alexandria, Virginia.
The legal blows against Trump's former associates landed right before the president was scheduled to whip up a crowd of supporters in a campaign-style rally in West Virginia.