In newly unsealed text messages with Sean Hannity, Paul Manafort said he would never "give up" two people to the special counsel—and you can guess who tops the list. "They would want me to give up DT or family, esp JK," Manafort wrote the Fox News host, referring to President Trump and Jared Kushner. "I would never do that." Hannity wrote back, "Understand. There is nothing to give up on DT. What did JK do?" Manafort replied, "Nothin, just like i did nothing," adding that Robert Mueller's team "will want me to make up" wrongdoings about both, CNN reports. Written between 2017 and 2018, the texts were released Friday with a transcript of a court hearing about whether the messages broke Manafort's gag order. Among other tidbits:
- "The media is trying to split me with DT and family by lies and untruths,” Manafort wrote Hannity at one point, per Vanity Fair. Hannity later responded, "I pray that God give you grace and peace in this difficult moment. If you ever just want to talk, grab dinner, vent, strategize—whatever, I am here. I know this is very hard. Stand tall and strong."
- "I asked him to feed me everyday. He has to SEND ME STUFF," Hannity wrote after speaking to Manafort's lawyer, Kevin Downing, per the New York Times. Manafort: "He will." Hannity: "Every day."
- "He won't agree," Hannity said of Kushner after Manafort texted that Mueller might pressure the president's son-in-law to get Trump to give an interview. "The lawyers will fight tooth and nail. Proffered agreement. All pre planned."
- Neither showed any love for Andrew Weissmann, a member of Mueller's team, with Manafort calling him a "slime ball" and "unethical." Manafort also called former Attorney General Jeff Sessions "totally worthless."
- They supported the idea of another special prosecutor to investigate Hillary Clinton and/or re-investigate Russian influence in the 2016 campaign, the Guardian notes. Sessions will support that or "he is gone," wrote Manafort." Hannity said he had "talked to a friend," and Manafort answered, "Fingers crossed you are right."
- Many of their texts were supportive of one another. "I love you ... you are the best ... that was powerful," Manafort wrote after one of Hannity's TV broadcasts. Manafort also said Hannity should "get a Pulitzer for your incredible reporting."
- But Hannity dodged Manafort's request for help raising legal-defense funds. "Do you think you can do a tweet or a like to the site?" asked Manafort. Hannity's answer: "Paul it may be problematic with Fox. I need to get the ok. Hope u understand."
(See how Manafort, who is now serving seven-and-a-half years, avoided being sent
to the notorious Rikers Island.)