In the wake of Paul Manafort’s extremely lenient 47-month sentence on fraud charges Thursday evening, President Trump said Friday that he feels “very badly” for his former campaign manager. “I think it’s been a tough time for him,” he told reporters on the South Lawn ahead of a trip to Alabama. Trump was careful to emphasize repeatedly, however, that “This had nothing to do with collusion. It’s a collusion hoax. It’s a collusion witch hoax. I don’t collude with Russia.” Trump also downplayed reports that North Korea was reassembling nuclear weaponry machinery in the weeks leading up to the leaders’ failed summit in Hanoi. “I would be surprised in a negative way if he did anything that was not per our understanding,” Trump said. He also attempted to shift blame for the fraught relationship to former President Obama, claiming that “You were going to war, folks, whether you knew it or not,” when he came into office.
But the final choice words of his impromptu presser were reserved for House Democrats, who voted yesterday to advance an anti-hate resolution prompted by anti-Semitic stereotypes invoked by Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN). “I thought yesterday’s vote by the House was disgraceful,” Trump said. “Because the Democrats have become an anti-Israel party, they’ve become an anti-Jewish party.”