Trump echoes mob bosses -- and praises 'brave man' Manafort for refusing to 'break'
President Donald Trump has pushed ahead with tariffs on steel and aluminium imports, including from allies. (AFP/File / Olivier Douliery)

President Donald Trump on Wednesday praised his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort for refusing to cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller's probe.

"I feel very badly for Paul Manafort and his wonderful family," the president wrote on Twitter. "'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!"

Manafort on Tuesday was found guilty on eight charges related to tax fraud. According to prosecutors, Manafort used a series of offshore shell accounts to hide money he'd made by lobbying on behalf of a Kremlin-linked Ukrainian politician.

During the trial, prosecutors also revealed that Manafort was millions of dollars in debt when he first joined the Trump campaign -- and that he nonetheless worked on the Trump campaign for free.