The Election, The Environment

Trump Floats a Pardon for Manafort and Reportedly Denies Foreknowledge of WikiLeaks Dump or Trump Tower Meeting

Paul Manafort poses for a mugshot photo at the Alexandria Detention Center in Alexandria, Virgina. Handout/Getty Images Latest Presidential Sit-Down…

Paul Manafort's Alexandria Detention Center mugshot

Paul Manafort poses for a mugshot photo at the Alexandria Detention Center in Alexandria, Virgina.

Handout/Getty Images

Donald Trump has told Robert Mueller, in written responses to the special counsel, that “Roger Stone did not tell him about WikiLeaks, nor was he told about the 2016 Trump Tower meeting between his son,” CNN reported Wednesday.

Two areas that Mueller’s team apparently has been pressing witnesses on are the Trump Tower meeting—where a Russian lawyer told Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort, and Jared Kushner that she could provide damaging information on Hillary Clinton—and the possibility of coordination between the Trump campaign and WikiLeaks or the Russian government on releasing Democratic emails.

Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani told the New York Times that one of Manafort’s attorneys told him “that prosecutors hammered away at whether the president knew about the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting.”

In a document obtained by several news organizations Tuesday, prosecutors said that a Stone associate, Jerome Corsi, had told him almost two months before the Podesta emails were released that their “friend in embassy [Julian Assange] plans 2 more dumps.” It was also reported Tuesday that Manafort’s lawyers had been in contact with Trump’s legal team about Manafort’s cooperation with Mueller, which recently blew up when prosecutors accused Manafort of lying to them.

Trump again floated a pardon for Manafort, who is facing a stiff jail term as his cooperation agreement with prosecutors collapsed. Trump told the New York Post that a pardon for Manafort is “not off the table.” He also praised Manafort, Stone, and Corsi, saying, that their apparent refusal or inability to incriminate Trump directly is “actually very brave,” and that the Mueller investigation “is McCarthyism.”

Trump has publicly denied knowing about both WikiLeaks’ possession of Podesta’s emails and about the meeting between the Russian lawyer and his son, son-in-law, and senior campaign figure. But Trump’s denials in the written answers to Mueller’s questions leave him open to criminal charges if they are proven false. CNN reported that its source “said the president made clear he was answering to the best of his recollection.”

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