“I feel badly about a lot of it because I think a lot of it is very unfair,” Trump said. “Manafort has nothing to do with our campaign. But, I tell ‘ya, I feel a little badly about it.”
Watch the video below, via CNN:
Manafort has become one of the most prominent targets in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing investigation. Most recently, Manafort was the subject of a superseding indictment with accusations of witness tampering.
Trump attempted to defend himself by citing other prominent Republicans who worked with Manafort in the past, before falsely claiming Manafort only worked on his campaign for 49 days.
“You know, Paul Manafort worked for me for a very short period of time. He worked for Ronald Reagan, he worked for Bob Dole, he worked for John McCain — or his firm did — he worked for many other Republicans. He worked for me, what, for 49 days or something? A very short period of time.”
Manafort worked as chairman of the Trump campaign from May 19, 2016, through his resignation on August 19, 2016 — a crucial period that saw Manafort successfully shepherd the campaign through a potentially nasty Republican National Convention to secure the nomination for the presidency.
After discussing Manafort and his personal lawyer Michael Cohen, Trump was asked if he was considering pardoning any of his embattled associates.
“I don’t want to talk about that. No, I don’t want to talk about that,” he said. “But look, I do want to see people treated fairly. That’s what it’s all about.”