Trump Just Tweeted a Blatant Lie About Manafort Judge
President Donald Trump sent out a storm of tweets Friday morning, with one in particular making an outlandish claim about a judge’s recent comments yesterday in the sentencing of Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort.
“Both the Judge and the lawyer in the Paul Manafort case stated loudly and for the world to hear that there was NO COLLUSION with Russia,’ Trump wrote in one of his many tweets Friday.
The president also lamented that, despite the judge’s purported statement, the “Witch Hunt Hoax continues.”
Both the Judge and the lawyer in the Paul Manafort case stated loudly and for the world to hear that there was NO COLLUSION with Russia. But the Witch Hunt Hoax continues as you now add these statements to House & Senate Intelligence & Senator Burr. So bad for our Country!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 8, 2019
Unfortunately for Trump, the judge in the case didn’t actually make such a statement. In fact, Judge T.S. Ellis, the New York Times noted in its reporting of his sentencing of Manafort on Thursday, announced in an unprompted way that his decision relied on zero evidence from the Russian collusion investigation.
Manafort was “not before this court for anything having to do with collusion with the Russian government to influence this election,” Ellis said.
Trump’s tweet, then, was a clear lie, or at best an instance of the president misremembering an important aspect of Ellis’s sentencing statement.
Manafort does face additional charges in a separate federal case in which he may face additional years in prison, potentially tacking on more time behind bars than the lenient 47-month sentence Ellis rendered to him on Thursday.
Trump has told thousands of lies or misleading statements directly to the American public since becoming president, the Washington Post noted earlier this year, doing so more than 16 times per day on average in his second year in office.