President Donald Trump on Wednesday said that the sentencing hearing for his former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, provided evidence that he did not collude with Russian operatives.
Speaking with reporters at the White House, Trump said he had “no idea” when special counsel Robert Mueller would be finished with his investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 elections.
"I can only tell you one thing, again, that was proven today. No collusion. There's no collusion," the president said, after Manafort received an additional 43 months in prison.
"There's no collusion and there hasn't been collusion and it was all a big hoax. And you know it. It was done and stated by the Democrats, because they lost an election that they should have won, because the electoral college it's a big advantage for Democrats, not for Republicans. And they should have, and I ran the clock out."
"We ran the whole thing, ran up the east coast from North Carolina to Pennsylvania. Then we go up to Wisconsin and Michigan, states that hadn't been won for many, many years. We won those states," Trump continued.
"And they said, how do we solve this horrible problem. We lost an election that in theory some people -- I didn't, but some people thought they were going to win, right? And they said, I have an idea. Let's blame Russia. It was a hoax. It was all a big hoax."
"You don't call Russia when you go to Florida. Russia won't help you much," Trump concluded.