President Trump briefly mentioned Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort's situations while in West Virginia on Tuesday night; on Wednesday morning he elaborated on his thoughts on the men's legal developments on Twitter. CNN reports it spoke with White House advisers who say Trump and his backers will be pushing the narrative that Cohen is "a liar and a non-credible witness," returning to the talking point that he's now a convicted felon who shouldn't be trusted. Trump's tweets had a whiff of that, suggesting his former lawyer lied to get a deal:
- He started with a dig at Cohen: "If anyone is looking for a good lawyer, I would strongly suggest that you don't retain the services of Michael Cohen!" (Politico contrasts this with Trump's description of Cohen in January 2017: "Michael Cohen is a very talented lawyer. He's a good lawyer in my firm.")
- Then tweeted about both men: "I feel very badly for Paul Manafort and his wonderful family. '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!"
- Before defending Manafort more forcefully: "A large number of counts, ten, could not even be decided in the Paul Manafort case. Witch Hunt!"
- And then mentioning President Obama: "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!"
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