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Duffy: A 'Large Leap' to Connect Trump With Manafort's Activities

Image: Duffy: A 'Large Leap' to Connect Trump With Manafort's Activities
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By    |   Monday, 30 October 2017 01:37 PM

It's a "large leap" to connect President Donald Trump with activities Paul Manafort is accused of doing before signing on as the then-GOP presidential nominee's campaign manager, Rep. Sean Duffy said Monday.

"To taint Donald Trump with things that Manafort did before the campaign, I think, is a leap too far," the Wisconsin Republican told CNN "New Day" co-host Alisyn Camerota Monday, as news was breaking that Manafort and his business associate and deputy campaign manager Rick Gates were to surrender to the FBI.

"We're going to look at this full picture, and as you reported, we'll see what the charges are for Manafort, but we'll also look at the campaign with regard to the dossier and the Clintons, we'll look at Uranium One," said Duffy, referring to claims that Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton's campaign, along with the Democratic National Committee, had funded research for a salacious dossier about Trump.

Duffy said he's also concerned that the news about the indictments, handed down on Friday by a grand jury, was leaked to the media, even if the names of Manafort and Gates were not.

"That is good for you, CNN, and good for you guys for getting this story," said Duffy. "It's a great scoop for the network. But as a lawmaker, I sit and go, why are we leaking information from the special counsel to a news network? Good for you, but I think bad for America."

Duffy said he also believes that if there was real evidence of collusion between Trump, his campaign, and Russia, that would have been leaked out as well.

"You had the meeting between [former FBI Director James] Comey and Donald Trump on that dossier," said Duffy. "You had this information, which is a crime to leak this information to you about an indictment. I believe that information would have been leaked out if it existed, and it hasn't yet."

As nothing's been leaked, he added, "I think President Trump's probably okay in that there was no collusion here and they have no evidence of collusion."

Manafort and Gates are facing a 12-count indictment accusing them of conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money, performing as an unregistered agent of a foreign principal, false and misleading FARA (Foreign Agents Registration Act) statements and seven counts of failure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts.

Most of the charges centered on their alleged business activities before Trump took office or even before the campaign took place, but the indictment also said that some of the charges cover offenses up to and including 2017.

Manafort arrived first at the FBI field office, followed about an hour later by Gates. The two men will be processed by the FBI separately, and will appear in court on Monday afternoon, where charges will be officially presented.

"Well, listen, if you're Paul Manafort, this is not good for you," said Duffy, who gave his interview just after Manafort surrendered. "You know, Mueller's coming for you. You're sitting in the FBI building right now. You have serious problems on your hands. Let's not sugar coat that, Alisyn. My concern is do we take that next leap and say, is that going to taint Donald Trump? I cannot take that leap."

Duffy said he's also concerned that special counsel Robert Mueller, who is handling the investigation into Russian involvement in the election, is bringing in attorneys who contributed heavily to Democratic campaigns.

"I'm sure there are a lot of attorneys in America that haven't given to the Republicans or Democrats, that are very talented that he could bring into this investigation," he added.

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It's a "large leap" to connect President Donald Trump with activities Paul Manafort is accused of doing before signing on as the then-GOP presidential nominee's campaign manager, Rep. Sean Duffy said Monday
sean duffy, large leap, connect, donald trump, paul manafort, activities
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Monday, 30 October 2017 01:37 PM
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