‘Paul Manafort will tell the truth,’ Trump’s legal team said. Minutes later, they took it back

Will Paul Manafort tell special counsel Robert Mueller the truth? Trump’s legal team can’t make up its mind.

“Once again an investigation has concluded with a plea having nothing to do with President Trump or the Trump campaign. The reason: the President did nothing wrong and Paul Manafort will tell the truth.”

Minutes later, they seemed to reconsider. A “corrected” statement removed the bit about Manafort telling the truth. That statement said, in full:

Once again an investigation has concluded with a plea having nothing to do with President Trump or the Trump campaign. The reason: the President did nothing wrong.

Trump has offered words of support for his former campaign manager throughout Manafort’s legal battle with Mueller. After Manafort was convicted last month on a number of charges Mueller brought in Virginia federal court, Trump wrote in a post on Twitter that “I feel very badly for Paul Manafort and his wonderful family.”

He wrote that, “unlike Michael Cohen, he refused to ‘break’ – make up stories in order to get a ‘deal.’ Such respect for a brave man!” Cohen, Trump’s former personal attorney, pleaded guilty last month to several federal charges and implicated the president in campaign-finance crimes.

The retraction Friday suggests that the goodwill between Trump and Manafort could be short-lived.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment from CNBC asking whether the president expects Manafort to tell the truth.

This story is breaking and will be updated.

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