By Nicole Darrah, ,
Published August 22, 2018
President Trump on Wednesday weighed in on whether he'd pardon Paul Manafort following the former campaign chairman's conviction on bank and tax fraud charges.
Speaking to Fox News' Ainsley Earhardt in an exclusive "Fox & Friends" interview, Trump said he had "great respect" for Manafort in terms of "what he's done... what he's gone through."
"You know, he worked for Ronald Reagan for years, he worked for Bob Dole, he worked -- I guess his firm worked for [Sen. John] McCain," the president said. "He worked for many, many people, many many years."
A jury on Tuesday convicted Manafort on eight counts of bank and tax fraud. In the interview, Trump described the charges as what "every consultant, every lobbyist in Washington probably does."
WATCH AINSLEY EARHARDT'S EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH TRUMP ON 'FOX & FRIENDS' AT 6 AM ET THURSDAY ON FOX NEWS CHANNEL.
The president then pivoted to Hillary Clinton's email scandal, pointing to "the crimes that Clinton did."
"If you look at Hillary Clinton's person, you take a look at the people that work for Hillary Clinton," Trump began, "With the emails and she deletes 33,000 emails after she gets a subpoena from Congress and this Justice Department does nothing about it? And all of the other crimes that they've done?"
The president also told Fox News that "later on" he knew that former attorney Michael Cohen made hush-money payments to adult-film star Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal, and insisted the money did not come from campaign funds.
“Later on I knew. Later on. What he did — and they weren’t taken out of the campaign finance, that’s the big thing. That’s a much bigger thing,” Trump said Wednesday. “Did they come out of the campaign? They didn’t come out of the campaign, they came from me.”
Cohen entered a guilty plea in a New York City courtroom on Tuesday, admitting to violating campaign finance laws in relation to the hush-money payments.
Catch Trump's full exclusive interview with "Fox & Friends" Thursday morning at 6 a.m. ET.
Fox News' Brooke Singman contributed to this report.