Politics

White House: Pardon for Trump's ex-campaign boss Paul Manafort has not been 'up for discussion'

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Key Points
  • White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said on Wednesday that President Donald Trump was not discussing a potential pardon for his ex-campaign chairman Paul Manafort.
  • The comments come a day after Manafort was found guilty on eight criminal charges by a federal jury in Virginia. 
  • Earlier on Wednesday, Trump praised for his former political aide. "I feel very badly for Paul Manafort and his wonderful family," Trump wrote in a post on Twitter.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders holds the daily briefing at the White House in Washington, August 22, 2018. 
Leah Millis | Reuters

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said on Wednesday that President Donald Trump was not discussing a potential pardon for his ex-campaign chairman Paul Manafort, a day after Manafort was found guilty on eight criminal charges by a federal jury in Virginia.

"Once again, that is not something that has been up for discussion," Sanders said.

Earlier on Wednesday, Trump praised his former political aide.

"I feel very badly for Paul Manafort and his wonderful family," Trump wrote in a post on Twitter. He compared Manafort favorably to Michael Cohen, the president's former personal attorney. Trump accused Cohen of lying to prosecutors in order to get a deal.

Cohen pleaded guilty to a range of financial crimes on Tuesday, including facilitating unlawful payments, at Trump's direction, to two women who have said they had sex with the president before he was elected. Trump and his attorneys have denied wrongdoing.

Trump tweet

In a Wednesday tweet, Trump said that Manafort, who was convicted on a range of counts related to financial fraud, refused to "break." Manafort was prosecuted by special counsel Robert Mueller, who is leading the investigation into links between Trump's associates and Russia.

One of Trump's attorneys had raised the possibility of pardoning Manafort last year before the globetrotting former political consultant was indicted, The New York Times reported in March. The attorney who raised the possibility with Manafort's team, John Dowd, has since left Trump's legal team. Dowd has denied raising the possibility of pardons.