In his first televised interview since leaving prison —where he was at times sent to solitary confinement to “protect” him — former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort said he was never the target of the “weaponization” of the federal government.
The target was always then-candidate, and ultimately President Donald Trump. He was “just a means to an end.”
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And the parallels between his saga and the Jan. 6 political prisoners — themselves sent to solitary confinement for 23 hours a day — have Manafort alarmed about the disruptions of the peaceful transfer of power and silencing dissent of the government from the will of the people.
“I always felt they were targeting me and a couple of others to try and get at the president — then-candidate Trump and then President Trump — which is one of the reasons why I find it ironic that what’s going on today with these claims about Jan. 6, when the people who are pushing the Jan. 6 allegations are the very ones who for 4 1/2 years refused to recognize the results of the 2016 election,” Manafort told Fox News’ “Hannity” on Wednesday night, teasing his book “Political Prisoner: Persecuted, Prosecuted, but Not Silenced,” due out in August.
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Manafort details the maximum pressure campaign laid against him, using stories he said he “knew were fake” to try to dig up dirt on Trump before he won the election, then during the transition, and finally while Trump was the U.S. president.
“I will talk about this in the book, when they were putting pressure on me to admit to facts that weren’t true, and I’ll talk about those facts and those expectations, and the quid pro quo that was understood was that I would be treated in a very lenient way,” Manafort said. “They didn’t understand that there was no way I was going to lie. There was no way that they could force me into giving up the president, you know, and I never felt uncomfortable talking to them because I knew that as long as I told the truth, I had nothing to fear. But I was wrong.”
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Manafort also detailed the use of the psychological warfare of sending him to solitary confinement under the guise to “protect” him.
“Solitary confinement is a terrible thing,” Manafort said. “They said it was to protect me. I never believed that for a minute. It didn’t protect me. What it did was it put me into a situation, I’m in an 8 x 10 room with no windows, with no access to people, no access to outside. And limited ability to communicate with my lawyers. Continue reading at Newsmax.
WATCH THE FULL INTERVIEW WITH PAUL MANAFORT BELOW: