Trump says any Manafort mis­deeds oc­curred ‘years ago’

Jamaica Gleaner - - INTERNATIONAL NEWS -

WASH­ING­TON (AP): UICKLY DISTANCING him­self and the White House from the in­dict­ment of his former cam­paign chair­man and an­other aide, United States Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump yes­ter­day said Paul Manafort’s al­leged mis­deeds oc­curred “years ago”.

Trump fur­ther in­sisted there was no

Qcol­lu­sion be­tween the Trump cam­paign and Rus­sia. Re­spond­ing to news that two former se­nior cam­paign aides were charged by spe­cial coun­sel Robert Mueller, who is in­ves­ti­gat­ing in­ter­ac­tions be­tween Trump’s pres­i­den­tial cam­paign and Rus­sia, the pres­i­dent tried to shift the fo­cus else­where, ask­ing on Twit­ter why Hil­lary Clin­ton and the Democrats aren’t the fo­cus of the probe.

Trump’s tweet: “Sorry, but this is years ago, be­fore Paul Manafort was part of the Trump cam­paign. But why aren’t Crooked Hil­lary & the Dems the fo­cus ????? ”

He tacked on this ad­den­dum: “.... Also, there is NO COL­LU­SION!”

Manafort and Rick Gates sur­ren­dered to fed­eral au­thor­i­ties yes­ter­day to face felony charges of con­spir­acy against the United States, act­ing as an un­reg­is­tered for­eign agent, and sev­eral other fi­nan­cial counts in­volv­ing tens of mil­lions of dol­lars routed through off­shore ac­counts.

In ad­di­tion, a former Trump cam­paign aide pleaded guilty to ly­ing to FBI agents about the tim­ing and de­tail of his at­tempts to line up meet­ings be­tween Rus­sian gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials and the Trump cam­paign. George Pa­padopolous pleaded guilty to ly­ing to the FBI about his con­tacts with a Rus­sian na­tional dur­ing his time on the Trump cam­paign.

The in­dict­ment against Manafort and Gates al­leges crim­i­nal ac­tiv­ity through “at least 2016,” when the pres­i­den­tial cam­paign was in full swing.

White House al­lies pri­vately ex­pressed re­lief that the charges against Manafort and Gates did not per­tain to Rus­sia or the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion. The White House de­clined to com­ment on the Pa­padopolous plea deal.

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