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The Latest: Trump says Manafort pardon ‘not off the table’

November 28, 2018
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FILE - In this May 19, 2017 file photo, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange gestures to supporters outside the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he has been in self imposed exile since 2012. Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort is denying that he ever met WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Manafort says in a statement that a Guardian report saying he met with Assange at the Ecuadorian embassy is "totally false and deliberately libelous." Manafort says that he has never been contacted by "anyone connected to WikiLeaks, either directly or indirectly." (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, FILE)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the Trump-Russia investigation (all times local):

3:30 p.m.

President Donald Trump says he’s never discussed pardoning his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, but says it’s “not off the table.”

In an interview with the New York Post on Wednesday, Trump asked rhetorically: “Why would I take it off the table?”

Prosecutors have accused Manafort of repeatedly lying to them and violating his agreement to tell all in return for a lighter sentence.

There also are new questions about what Manafort knows and what prosecutors say he might be attempting to conceal as they probe Russian election interference and possible coordination with Trump associates in the campaign.

Meanwhile, Manafort’s lawyers have been briefing Trump’s attorneys on what their client has told investigators. The arrangement could give Trump ammunition in his fight against special counsel Robert Mueller.

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12:50 p.m.

The breakdown of a plea deal with former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and a news report about contacts he may have had with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange have thrown a new element of uncertainty into the Trump-Russia investigation.

Manafort on Tuesday adamantly denied a Guardian report that he secretly met with Assange around March 2016.

The developments thrust Manafort back into the investigation spotlight, raising new questions about what he knows and what prosecutors say he might be attempting to conceal as they probe Russian election interference and any possible coordination with Trump associates

All the while, Manafort’s lawyers have been briefing Trump’s attorneys on what their client has told investigators, a highly unusual arrangement that could give Trump ammunition in his feud against special counsel Robert Mueller.

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