Trump Attacks FBI, Justice Department for Failing To Disclose Manafort Probe

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President Donald Trump came down hard on the Justice Department and the FBI on Sunday, criticizing them for failing to tell him that Paul Manafort, who was named Trump campaign chairman in 2016, was being “secretly investigated.”

Trump tapped Manafort to lead his campaign in June 2016, but the longtime GOP operative was forced to step down in August due to revelations that surfaced regarding his prior business dealings with the government in Ukraine, according to The Hill.

The FBI is believed to have surveiled Manafort both before and after the election as part of an investigation that was originally launched in 2014.

In a pair of Sunday morning tweets, Trump said that had he known about the FBI’s interest in Manafort, he never would have named him campaign chairman.

“As only one of two people left who could become President, why wouldn’t the FBI or Department of ‘Justice’ have told me that they were secretly investigating Paul Manafort (on charges that were 10 years old and had been previously dropped) during my campaign? Should have told me!,” the president wrote.

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“Paul Manafort came into the campaign very late and was with us for a short period of time (he represented Ronald Reagan, Bob Dole & many others over the years), but we should have been told that Comey and the boys were doing a number on him, and he wouldn’t have been hired!” Trump added in a follow-up post.

As noted by Fox News, both major parties’ nominees for president receive a classified intelligence briefing, and Trump reportedly received more than one such briefing.

Should the FBI and DOJ have been more transparent with the Trump campaign?

Manafort, for his part, has been charged with tax fraud, bank fraud and money laundering as part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian collusion in the 2016 election.

Manafort has pleaded not guilty to those charges, which stem from his relationship with Ukrainian officials.

He is expected to stand trial in July.

According to Fox, Manafort was interviewed twice by the FBI before he was tapped to run Trump’s campaign, though it’s not clear if he told the campaign about those interviews.

Trump was not alone in his belief that the FBI should have been more transparent with his campaign.

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Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski said on “Fox News Sunday” that he was never told about the FBI’s investigation into Russian interference.

“Never did they notify me of their concerns about potential Russian meddling” or a “potential spy,” Lewandowski said.

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Joe Setyon is a deputy managing editor for The Western Journal who has spent his entire professional career in editing and reporting. He previously worked in Washington, D.C., as an assistant editor/reporter for Reason magazine.
Joe Setyon is deputy managing editor for The Western Journal with several years of copy editing and reporting experience. He graduated with a degree in communication studies from Grove City College, where he served as managing editor of the student-run newspaper. Joe previously worked as an assistant editor/reporter for Reason magazine, a libertarian publication in Washington, D.C., where he covered politics and wrote about government waste and abuse.
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