Trump on Manafort pardon: 'Not something that's right now on my mind'

The president feels 'very badly' for his former campaign chairman, who was sentenced to a total of 7.5 years in prison.
Image: Manafort arrives for arraignment on charges of witness tampering, at U.S. District Court in Washington
Paul Manafort arrives at U.S. District Court in Washington on June 15, 2018.Jonathan Ernst / Reuters file

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By Jonathan Allen

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said Wednesday that he hasn't considered pardoning former campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

"I have not even given it a thought as of this moment," Trump said told reporters at the White House, just hours after Manafort was sentenced to 43 months additional prison time after being sentenced in a different case last week. "It is not something that's right now on my mind."

The president also expressed sympathy for his former top campaign aide.

"I feel very badly for Paul Manafort," Trump said. "It's a very sad situation."

Manafort was sentenced by a federal judge to 43 months in prison Wednesday on convictions related to undisclosed lobbying work he did on behalf of Ukrainian politicians close to Russia, bringing his federal prison stint from two separate cases to 7.5 years. However, he'll get credit for nine months of time served.

Shortly after his sentence was handed down in Washington, Manafort was hit by Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance with indictments on 16 charges related to what prosecutors say was a residential mortgage-fraud scheme and conspiracy.

Told by a reporter that Manafort wouldn't be eligible for a pardon on state-level charges, Trump said, "I don't know anything about it."