Trump says Manafort pardon hasn't crossed his mind

Image: Paul Manafort walks from Federal District Court
Paul Manafort outside Federal District Court in Washington on Oct. 30, 2017. Copyright Alex Brandon AP file
By Jonathan Allen with NBC News Politics
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The president says he feels 'very badly' for his former campaign chairman, who was sentenced to a total of 7.5 years in prison.


WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said Wednesday that he hasn't considered giving former campaign chairman Paul Manafort a pardon.

"I have not even given it a thought as of this moment," Trump said told reporters at the White House, just hours after Manafort was sentenced to 43 months additional prison time after being sentenced in a different case last week.

The president expressed sympathy for his former top campaign aide.

"I feel very badly for Paul Manafort," Trump said. "It's a very sad situation."

Manafort was sentenced to 43 months in prison Wednesday on convictions related to undisclosed lobbying work he did on behalf of Ukrainian politicians close to Russia, bringing his federal prison stint from two separate cases to 7.5 year years.

Shortly after his sentence was handed down in Washington, Manafort was hit by the Manhattan District attorney with indictment on 16 charges related to what prosecutors say was a residential mortgage-fraud scheme.

Trump has the power to pardon Manafort for his federal crimes but would not have the authority to overturn any convictions at the state or local level.

The president said he didn't know anything about the action by the Manhattan DA.

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