Donald Trump Praises ‘Brave’ Paul Manafort On Twitter And Slams Michael Cohen
Manafort and Cohen were both found guilty of multiple bank and tax fraud violations Tuesday, although Trump was much more sympathetic to the former than he was to the latter.
“I feel very badly for Paul Manafort and his wonderful family,” Trump wrote in one tweet. “‘Justice’ took a 12 year old tax case, among other things, applied tremendous pressure on him and, unlike Michael Cohen, he refused to ‘break’ – make up stories in order to get a ‘deal.’ Such respect for a brave man!”
In a previous Twitter post, Trump blasted Cohen, saying: “If anyone is looking for a good lawyer, I would strongly suggest that you don’t retain the services of Michael Cohen!”
However, Trump seemed to strike a less accusatory tone when talking about Cohen in a later tweet:
Michael Cohen plead guilty to two counts of campaign finance violations that are not a crime. President Obama had a big campaign finance violation and it was easily settled!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 22, 2018
Manafort was convicted for financial crimes he committed regarding his work as a lobbyist for pro-Russia political candidates and organizations in Ukraine, including former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.
Cohen had long given the impression of being unwaveringly loyal to the president, but on Tuesday he took a plea agreement that could see him serve up to five years in prison for his multiple campaign finance violations. Cohen’s crimes included illegal payments to silence women with whom Trump had extramarital affairs over the last 12 years, like porn star Stormy Daniels. Trump’s attorney admitted he made the payments “at the direction of a presidential candidate” and that the main purpose of these disbursements was to influence the outcome of the 2016 election.
Last month, it was revealed that Cohen secretly recorded a conversation between Trump and himself about plans for a payment to former Playboy model Karen McDougal, one of the many women the former Apprentice star had sexual relations with.