President Donald Trump is keeping the option available to pardon his former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, as he told the New York Post in an exclusive interview.
From Daily Caller:
“It was never discussed, but I wouldn’t take it off the table. Why would I take it off the table,” Trump told TheNYP, expressing his supreme dissatisfaction with special counsel Robert Mueller.
“If you told the truth, you go to jail,” Trump said of the special counsel’s investigation. “You know, this ‘flipping’ stuff is terrible. You flip, and you lie, and you get — the prosecutors will tell you 99 percent of the time, they can get people to flip. It’s rare that they can’t.”
Trump’s comments come at a particularly fraught time for Manafort, who Mueller is accusing of lying to federal prosecutors, despite entering a plea deal with the government. Mueller’s team alleged that Manafort lied about “a variety of subject matters” and that they were no obligation to honor the agreement struck with him.
Manafort’s lawyers conversely said their client had complied to the best of his ability with Mueller’s team and that the special counsel was not intentionally misled.
The president praised Manafort, conservative author Jerome Corsi and conservative operative Roger Stone for refusing to comply with Mueller’s team, saying, “I had three people: Manafort, Corsi – I don’t know Corsi, but he refuses to say what they demanded. It’s actually very brave.”
Corsi is currently being targeted by Mueller’s team for allegedly lying to federal investigators. The conservative author, however, says he never intentionally misled anyone and was giving information to the best of his knowledge. Corsi has pledged he will not give in to pressures from Mueller.
Trump continued in an extended riff on Mueller’s tactics, accusing him of McCarthyism as he did earlier this morning on Twitter: “I’m telling you, this is McCarthyism. We are in the McCarthy era. This is no better than McCarthy. And that was a bad situation for the country. But this is where we are. And it’s a terrible thing.”