Fox News chief White House correspondent John Roberts fact-checked President Donald Trump’s false claim that Paul Manafort’s trial concluded that there was no collusion with Russia during the 2016 campaign.
Judge Amy Berman Jackson on Wednesday added 43 months to the former Trump campaign chairman’s prison term, bringing his total prison sentence to 7 1/2 years behind bars.
Within minutes of Manafort’s sentencing in federal court in Washington, D.C., Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance announced 16 charges against Manafort, including residential mortgage fraud, attempted mortgage fraud, falsifying business records and conspiracy.
Trump was asked about Manafort’s sentencing during a Wednesday afternoon press availability.
“I feel very badly for Paul Manafort,” Trump told reporters. “And he worked for Ronald Reagan very successfully and he worked for John McCain — he worked for Bob Dole and many others for many years.”
“I feel badly for him. I think it’s a very sad situation. I saw that just a little while ago. Certainly on a human basis, it’s a very sad thing,” Trump added.
Roberts fact-checked the president’s false claims for Fox News viewers.
“The president also said that today’s sentence proved that there was no collusion between his campaign in the Russia investigation,” Roberts reported.
“But we should make it clear that the sentencing and the charges that Paul Manafort was being sentenced for had nothing to do with Russia collusion,” he fact-checked.
“So it’s a bit of a leap to say the fact that he was sentenced to 7 1/2 years on charges that had nothing to do with collusion means that there was no collusion,” Roberts explained.
Judge Jackson made several strong statements before sentencing Manafort, rejecting his legal team’s “no collusion” mantra.
The Washington Post notes: “Manafort’s legal team had suggested repeatedly in its sentencing memo that the fact that he hadn’t been found to have colluded with Russia should be a mitigating factor when it came to how much time he would serve in prison. But Jackson not only rejected that argument in sentencing him to 43 additional months in prison, she also rejected the entire argument behind it.”
“The ‘no collusion’ refrain that runs through the entire defense memorandum is unrelated to matters at hand,” she said. “The ‘no collusion’ mantra is simply a non sequitur.”
Then she added: “The ‘no collusion’ mantra is also not accurate, because the investigation is still ongoing.”