Kellyanne Conway emphasized Tuesday that The Virginia-based trial of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort “centers on matters that have nothing to do with the campaign.”
“I would note for your audience, Bill, that the judge has very strictly instructed no mention of Paul Manafort’s role in the Trump campaign: Don’t mention Trump, don’t mention Russia, don’t mention collusion,” Conway, who managed Trump’s campaign after Manafort, told Fox News’ Bill Hemmer Tuesday morning.
She’s largely correct: Manafort is alleged to have carried out massive bank and tax fraud, among other things. And both Mueller and Manafort’s lawyers have said his campaign work should stay out of the courtroom. Another trial, set in Washington, D.C., will begin in September.
Still, Manafort was charged in the course of special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of Russian meddling in the 2016 election and related matters. And the charges against Manafort were viewed by many as an attempt to get him to cooperate with prosecutors in their cases against other Trump campaign affiliates.
Conway’s description of Manafort’s activity in the 2016 election — “his brief tenure at the Trump campaign several years ago” — also fits a pattern of the Trump camp trying to minimize their connections to Manafort.
Conway granted that “I believe there’s one witness — there may be one matter of somebody whom he had gotten a loan from in exchange for a job on the campaign. That’s just what I read.”
According to prosecutors, Federal Savings Bank CEO Steve Calk — identifiable based on corroborating details in court documents — knew that his bank had extended millions of dollars in loans to Manafort in late 2016 and early 2017 based at least in part on false statements from Manafort.
Conway assured Fox News viewers that “I will not be brought up on federal criminal charges of any type.”
“I certainly wasn’t making money in Ukraine or talking to anyone in Moscow,” she said. “That’s very clear. This has nothing to do with collusion, Russia, nothing to do with the Trump campaign.”
— Fox News (@FoxNews) July 31, 2018