President Trump on Tuesday dismissed the latest wrinkle in the special counsel’s investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election, saying the alleged actions of his former campaign chairman occurred prior to his involvement with the Trump campaign.
“The Fake News is working overtime. As Paul Manaforts [sic] lawyer said, there was ‘no collusion’ and events mentioned took place long before he came to the campaign,” Trump wrote on Twitter.
The tweet comes one day after Paul Manafort, the former campaign chairman, and his former business associate, Richard Gates, were charged in a 12-count indictment stemming from the special counsel’s probe into Russia’s election interference. Both have pleaded not guilty to the charges, which pertain to work the two did for a pro-Russia political party in Ukraine.
Trump also dismissed the volunteer foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI in the course of its Russia investigation.
“Few people knew the young, low level volunteer named George, who has already proven to be a liar. Check the DEMS!” Trump added.
The Washington Post on Monday said had Trump spoken highly of Papadopoulos as one of his foreign policy advisers during an interview with its editorial board in March of 2016.
“He’s an energy and oil consultant, excellent guy,” said Trump, referring to Papadopoulos according to the newspaper.
Trump then added that he hopes “people will start to focus” on tax reform.
“I hope people will start to focus on our Massive Tax Cuts for Business (jobs) and the Middle Class (in addition to Democrat corruption)!” Trump said.