Truth-Squadding Trump's Comments on Cohen, Manafort Convictions

(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump took to Twitter and Fox News Wednesday to vent about the guilty plea entered by his former attorney and fixer, Michael Cohen, and the conviction of his former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort.

Some of the president’s statements were inaccurate, misleading or inconsistent with his prior comments.

1. Those two counts are a crime. Cohen admitted making or orchestrating hush payments to two women who claimed they’d had affairs with Trump, to keep them quiet before the 2016 election. That’s a criminal violation of campaign finance laws. (Cohen also pleaded guilty to six other charges, including tax crimes.)

2. The Federal Election Commission fined President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign $375,000 for various violations, including accepting $1.4 million in contributions over the legal limit for individual donors. But it found no indication that Obama knew of the infractions and handled the case through an administrative action.

3. Trump told Fox News he learned about the payments to an adult film actress and a former Playmate after they’d been made. Previously, he’d said he was unaware of them. And last month, Cohen’s lawyer released a recording from September 2016 in which Cohen and Trump appear to be discussing one of the payments. Prosecutors said one of Cohen’s payments came in October 2016 and that a second scheme ran from August 2016 to October 2016.

4. A 12-year-old tax case? No. The charges brought by Special Counsel Robert Mueller focused on Manafort’s federal returns for the tax years 2010 to 2014.

5. Yes, the jury deadlocked on 10 counts. But it convicted Manafort of eight others, a verdict widely seen as a victory for Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.