President Donald Trump on Friday praised his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort a “very good person” as juror’s continue to deliberate in his trial on federal fraud charges.
“I think the whole Manafort trial is very sad,” Trump said, speaking to reporters on the White House lawn as he departed for a weekend of campaign and a visit to his New Jersey golf course.
Trump also attempted to distance himself from Manafort, which drew a powerful fact-check from NBC News White House correspondent Geoff Bennett.
“We saw the president say there that Paul Manafort worked for him for a very short period of time,” Bennett explained to MSNBC anchor Ali Velshi.
“We’ve seen the president and White House aides do this in the past where they try to minimize and rationalize the president’s connections to people who have been ensnared by the Russia probe, remember how they called George Papadopoulos a ‘coffee boy’ when he was in fact a foreign policy advisor for the campaign,” Bennett noted.
“We should point out that Manafort worked for the Trump campaign from mid-March until August 2016, it was a crucial point during the campaign, where it wasn’t quite clear he wouldn’t emerge as the party’s nominee,” he explained.
“Manafort was brought in to shore up all of the delegates, so the fact the president makes the point that Manafort didn’t play that big of a role during the campaign is just not true,” Bennett concluded.
Shep Smith stunned that America will continue to be left without an official defense secretary after Patrick Shanahan resigns
Fox News host Shepard Smith noted on Tuesday that the United States gone without a confirmed secretary of defense since the resignation of James Mattis in December last year.
"This one came out of nowhere. But really didn't catch a lot of people by surprise. We begin with breaking news and the bombshell report that has blown up the top spot at the Pentagon, ensuring that the United States goes longer without a full-time confirmed secretary of defense," Smith said.
Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan abruptly resigned on Tuesday after facing an FBI investigation over domestic violence allegations.
Mitch McConnell says he won’t support reparations because ‘we elected an African-American president’
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said on Tuesday that the United States does not need to pay reparations for slavery in part because "we elected an African-American president."
McConnell was confronted with a question about reparations during a press gaggle at the Capitol.
"I don't think reparations for something that happened 150 years ago for whom none of us currently living are responsible is a good idea," the Kentucky Republican opined. "We tried to deal with our original sin of slavery by fighting a civil war, by passing landmark civil rights legislation. We've elected an African-American president."
Trump campaigner changes the subject when asked what ‘promises’ Trump has kept
Marc Lotter, the strategic communications chief for Donald Trump's re-election campaign, had a bit of a communication problem when questioned about the president's slogan "promises made, promises kept."
MSNBC's Kasie Hunt asked Lotter in an interview about the president's launch rally, which kicks off in Orlando Tuesday evening. She noticed there were signs saying "promises made, promises kept," but wasn't sure exactly what it was referencing.
"I think the president’s message is going to be based on promises made, promises kept," he confessed. "He’s going to highlight the economy. He’s going to highlight that for the first time in ten years that paychecks are growing. We have more jobs than we do job seekers. These are all very positive benefits to the president’s leadership. And it’s going to be a choice."