The Latest: Trump opens rally amid 2 associates’ legal woes
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump (all times local):
President Donald Trump is opening a West Virginia campaign rally hours after his former campaign chairman was convicted of financial crimes and his former personal attorney pleaded guilty to felonies.
Trump was greeted with a thunderous standing ovation Tuesday after taking the stage at the Charleston Civic Center.
Hours earlier, former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was convicted of eight financial crimes in the first court victory stemming from the special counsel investigation into the president’s associates and their ties to Russia.
At around the same time, Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to eight felony counts.
The charges include arranging the payment of hush money to influence the election after two women alleged sexual relationships with Trump. Cohen says he acted at Trump’s direction, which Trump denies.
President Donald Trump says the conviction of his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort on financial crimes is “a disgrace.”
But he is largely ignoring his former personal attorney Michael Cohen’s guilty pleas to felonies, including campaign finance violations he stated he carried out in coordination with Trump, other than to say he felt “badly for both” men.
Manafort was convicted Tuesday in Virginia on charges brought by special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election and potential obstruction of justice. Cohen pleaded guilty in New York, saying he and Trump arranged the payment of hush money to porn star Stormy Daniels and a former Playboy model to influence the election.
Trump told reporters in West Virginia that Manafort’s conviction “has nothing to do with Russian collusion.” Of Manafort’s crimes, he says, “It doesn’t involve me.”