As the news broke Friday that Paul Manafort, former chairman of Donald Trump's presidential campaign, had entered into a cooperation agreement with Special Counsel Robert Mueller, Trump's TV lawyer Rudy Giuliani insisted that it had nothing to do with Trump.
@KenDilanianNBC @kwelkernbc Trump lawyer Giuliani asserts in statement after Manafort plea deal that the plea has "… https://t.co/SbRijBBXgl— NBC Politics (@NBC Politics)1536940679.0
"Once again, an investigation has concluded with a plea having nothing to do with President Trump or the Trump campaign," Giuliani said in a statement. "The reason: the President did nothing wrong and Paul Manafort will tell the truth."
Not long after his initial statement, however, the former New York City mayor had changed his tune.
"The president did nothing wrong," Giuliani reiterated, omitting his previous assertion that Manafort would tell the truth.
@KenDilanianNBC @kwelkernbc Giuliani in first statement after Manafort plea deal: "the President did nothing wrong… https://t.co/FkgDklRQ40— NBC Politics (@NBC Politics)1536942330.0
Giuliani said earlier this week that Trump and Manafort had a joint defense agreement in place, but that a potential cooperation agreement between Manafort and Mueller wasn't of concern because Trump, allegedly, did nothing wrong.
Twitter's reaction to Giuliani: 'really, like, really?'
@MSNBC @KenDilanianNBC @kwelkernbc Flipping isn't flipping.— Steven Paley (@Steven Paley)1536942183.0
@NBCPolitics @KenDilanianNBC @kwelkernbc Looks like he will tell the truth, lol!— fed up (@fed up)1536942429.0
@NBCPolitics @KenDilanianNBC @kwelkernbc The real statement should be: “The President did nothing wrong because he… https://t.co/1OMCB91lrz— Bryn A. Bee 🐝 (@Bryn A. Bee 🐝)1536945273.0
@NBCPolitics @KenDilanianNBC @kwelkernbc https://t.co/8JTTAENLRm— preacherskid (@preacherskid)1536944138.0
@NBCPolitics @KenDilanianNBC @kwelkernbc https://t.co/99RDrU1r87— John Swenson (@John Swenson)1536944255.0
Perhaps Giuliani, like a biblical prophecy peddler, needs to make up a new date for when Mueller will wrap up his investigation.
@MSNBC @KenDilanianNBC @kwelkernbc Giulani is still playing the Trump game but until the Mueller investigation is c… https://t.co/YRLCKyIx3Y— Sheila Jones (@Sheila Jones)1536942372.0
@NBCPolitics @RhondaBarket @KenDilanianNBC @kwelkernbc @RudyGiuliani should be calculating another day to wrap up t… https://t.co/pE9fD7gZNc— Citizen, Interrupted (@Citizen, Interrupted)1536943180.0
@NBCPolitics @FeistyOldHag @KenDilanianNBC @kwelkernbc The movie will be called, Nightmare on Pennsylvania Avenue.— St Stefan (@St Stefan)1536944301.0
@NBCPolitics @KenDilanianNBC @kwelkernbc Hahahahaha— Maggie Fields (@Maggie Fields)1536942465.0
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement that Manafort's arrangement with Mueller "had absolutely nothing to do with the president or his victorious 2016 presidential campaign. It is totally unrelated."
@KenDilanianNBC JUST IN: White House after Manafort cooperation agreement with special counsel: "This had absolutel… https://t.co/jrpkLaMqr0— NBC Politics (@NBC Politics)1536939811.0
NBC News reported on Friday that Manafort "agreed to forfeit multiple properties and bank accounts and to cooperate with investigators, including participating in interviews, providing documents and testifying."
Manafort pleaded guilty to conspiracy against the United States and conspiracy to obstruct justice, which "carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in jail and six years of supervised release, as well as up to $500,000 in fines," NBC said. "Manafort agreed to delay his sentencing until his cooperation is fulfilled."
@KenDilanianNBC @kwelkernbc As part of plea agreement, Manafort agrees to forfeit multiple properties and bank acco… https://t.co/3rpWDfWRVm— NBC Politics (@NBC Politics)1536943228.0
Manafort will have to admit to the charges listed in the indictments, "which describes a criminal scheme to launder money, defraud banks, evade taxes and violate lobbying laws," NBC said.
Last month, Manafort was convicted of eight felonies, including bank fraud, failure to report a foreign bank account, and tax evasion.
Following the verdict, Trump tweeted that he felt bad for Manafort, whom Trump described as a "brave man" because he "refused to break."
I feel very badly for Paul Manafort and his wonderful family. “Justice” took a 12 year old tax case, among other th… https://t.co/khxrqgKvn9— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1534944089.0
The president has not personally tweeted about Manafort (yet), presumably because he has been focused on emergency efforts in North Carolina as Hurricane Florence inundates coastal areas with storm surge and torrential rains.