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Trump Repeated Fox News Lies About Manafort Activity

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Trump Repeated Fox News Lies About Manafort Activity

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Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters.

 

n response to the news that President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort was indicted for, among other things, money laundering and acting as an unregistered agent of a foreign principal, Trump tweeted a Fox News talking point that Manafort’s alleged criminal activity occurred before he joined the campaign. But the first page of the indictment states that in an attempt to hide payments he received from Ukraine, Manafort was laundering money at least through the election year;  Manafort served as Trump’s campaign manager between March and August 2016.

The first page of the indictment reads (emphasis added):

MANAFORT and GATES generated tens of millions of dollars in income as a result of their Ukraine work. In order to hide Ukraine payments from United States authorities, from approximately 2006 through at least 2016, MANAFORT and GATES laundered the money through scores of United States and foreign corporations, partnerships, and bank accounts.

Trump falsely claimed on Twitter that Manafort’s alleged criminal actions didn’t occur during his time with the campaign:

Fox News had repeated this false talking point several times prior to Trump’s tweet. On Fox & Friends earlier this morning, co-host Steve Doocy commented that Manafort had “some suspicious wire transfers back in 2012, 2013, many years before he joined Trump.” Doocy later seemed to suggest the White House adopt the talking point that Trump eventually tweeted: “But ultimately, I would imagine the people in the White House are going to start talking later today about, ‘Well, if that’s all they’ve got, something — the guy who ran the campaign last year, something he did 5, 10 years earlier, we’re OK.’”

It’s been well documented that Trump regularly watches Fox’s morning programming. Even this morning, before details of Manafort’s indictment were reported, Trump tweeted his thanks to a guest on Fox & Friendsfor his performance on the show.

The same talking point was repeated later on Fox News, before Trump’s tweet. On America’s NewsroomFox contributor Byron York said, “These are all alleged crimes that, if they took place, took place years before he joined the Trump campaign.” A few minutes later, Fox guest David Hoppe said the indictment “is for things that happened well before Paul Manafort was ever involved with the Trump campaign.”

Some Fox personalities also shared this talking point on Twitter prior to Trump’s tweet:

Header image by Sarah Wasko / Media Matters

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5 Comments

  1. Dominick Vila October 31, 2017

    Most of the charges made against Manafort do involve actions taken long before the start of the 2016 election, and before Manafort became Chairman of the Trump campaign. Having said that, why did Trump hire him and make him Chairman of his campaign when Manafort’s involvement in the Ukraine and Crimea debacles were public knowledge? An interesting facet of this part of the investigation is that Manafort and Gates are not the only ones suspected of money laundering via the Bank of Cyprus, and other international banks. Other heads are going to roll in the not too distant future. Regarding Trump’s tweet and his question about Hillary, there is a huge difference between a politician – allegedly – paying someone to do opposition research, which may ultimately lead to the creation of a dossier with dirt on an opponent; and being one of the nine signatories of an international business transaction that in no way compromise our national security, and the criminal activities being revealed by Mueller. If Trump does not understand that, he is in deeper trouble than most of us thought.

    Reply
    1. Aaron_of_Portsmouth October 31, 2017

      Trump unwittingly walked into a minefield the moment he felt it was OK to remain a crook and venture into the uncharted waters of political life. Narcissism causes a multiplicity of dormant problems to arise.

      Reply
      1. Dominick Vila October 31, 2017

        He also made things a lot worse for himself with all the statements and tweets he has made. Obstruction of justice is likely to focus on what Trump has said, rather than evidence produced by Mueller

        Reply
      2. Independent1 October 31, 2017

        Before the election I said in a post to a right-winger troll that Trump will rue the day he chose to run for president – I certainly hope Mr. Mueller makes my prediction come to be a reality.

        Reply
  2. Aaron_of_Portsmouth October 31, 2017

    Trump is far too dense to realize yet that FOX is a rat’s nest of lies, far too unreliable to say the least regarding the truth of any matter.
    By repeating Tucker Carlson’ s base lies and pathetic attempts to cover up for Trump, relying on the rest of the talking heads in this den of iniquity, Donald only further deceives himself into thinking that he can hose behind FOX innuendos.
    Reliance on FOX will be noted as one of the main secondary causes of Donald’s demise, and should earn FOX plenty of coverage in the “Encyclopedia of Perversion in the Media”..

    Reply

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