Donald Trump tweeted his response to this morning’s big news that his former campaign chief Paul Manafort has been indicted on a dozen criminal counts by a federal grand jury. Also this morning, news broke that former campaign foreign-policy adviser George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty in separate case to giving false statements to the FBI. Both developments are part of Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
“Sorry, but this is years ago, before Paul Manafort was part of the Trump campaign,” POTUS tweeted, complaining, “Why aren’t Crooked Hillary & the Dems the focus?????”
Manafort and longtime business associate Rick Gates were indicted Monday on 12 counts, including “conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money, unregistered agent of a foreign principal, false and misleading FARA statements, false statements, and seven counts of failure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts.” TV news pundits noted the allegations of conspiracy against the U.S. continued through 2017, which would include Manafort’s relatively brief stint as Trump’s campaign chief.
Not long after that story broke came news that Papadopoulos, former foreign-policy adviser to the Trump campaign, secretly had pleaded guilty during the summer as part of Mueller’s probe. During his brief stint as a campaign adviser, Papadopoulos had suggested that Trump meet with top Russian leaders during the campaign. He pleaded guilty to making false statements during an FBI interview.
Trump, in his response to today’s developments, also tweeted:
….also, there is NO COLLUSION!