Trump won’t say whether he will pardon Manafort and Stone, calls FBI investigators ‘human scum’


When asked about pardons at the coronavirus task force briefing, Trump responded: “You will find out.”

Trump also harshly criticized FBI officials for how they conducted the investigation of whether Russia was trying to interfere in the 2016 election, which the bureau started before Special Counsel Robert Mueller took it over.

The President called FBI officials involved in the Russia investigation “human scum” in the briefing because he believes the lives of several of his friends and colleagues were unnecessarily ruined because of the probe.

The Justice Department’s inspector general, in a broad review of the start of the FBI’s Russia counterintelligence investigation, found the investigation was opened properly but that the FBI made serious errors in its observations of Trump political associates.

The Mueller investigation, after two years of painstaking fact-finding, documented several contacts between Trump campaign associates and Russians, as the campaign was seeking to benefit from efforts to sow discord in the American election, as well as several attempts by the President to obstruct the investigation.

Manafort was convicted for bank and tax fraud and admitted to foreign lobbying-related crimes.

Trump said that Stone, who was convicted and sentenced for lying to Congress about his efforts during the 2016 campaign, was “treated unfairly.”

He also said that Manafort’s “black book” documenting payments from Ukrainians was “a fraud.”

The President then brought up the case of former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty to lying to investigators during the Russia investigation. Trump called the investigation an attempt of “a takedown of a duly elected President” and said what the FBI did to Flynn was a “disgrace,” citing his long history of military service to the country.

Flynn pleaded guilty in 2017 of lying to the FBI about his conversations with the then-Russian ambassador to the US.

His sentencing was canceled in February as he is seeking to withdraw his guilty plea.


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