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Charleston Yeager Airport

Charleston, West Virginia

5:38 P.M. EDT

Q    Mr. President, your reaction to Paul Manafort —

THE PRESIDENT:  Yeah, it’s too bad.  I feel badly for both.  I must tell you that Paul Manafort is a good man.  He was with Ronald Reagan.  He was with a lot of different people over the years.  And I feel very sad about that.

It doesn’t involve me, but I still feel — you know, it’s a very sad thing that happened.  This has nothing to do with Russian collusion.  This started as Russian collusion.  This has absolutely nothing to do — this is a witch hunt, and it’s a disgrace.

But this has nothing to do what they started out — looking for Russians involved in our campaign; there were none.  I feel very badly for Paul Manafort.  Again, he worked for Bob Dole.  He worked for Ronald Reagan.  He worked for many, many people.  And this is the way it ends up.  And it was not the original mission, believe me.  It was something very much different.

So — had nothing to with Russian collusion.  We continue the witch hunt.  Thank you very much.

END            5:39 P.M. EDT