President Donald Trump criticized the Department of Justice and the FBI on Wednesday for not warning his 2016 campaign team that campaign chairman Paul Manafort was under investigation at the time.
Trump argued by asking why law enforcement didn’t “tell me” that Manafort was being investigated at the time of his hiring, noting that his former aide had previously worked for GOP figures such as President Reagan and Republican Senator Bob Dole.
“Paul Manafort worked for Ronald Reagan, Bob Dole and many other highly prominent and respected political leaders. He worked for me for a very short time. Why didn’t government tell me that he was under investigation. These old charges have nothing to do with Collusion — a Hoax!” Trump tweeted.
Manafort, who became part of Trump’s campaign shortly before the Republican National Convention in 2016, was under surveillance by the FBI over questions surrounding his lobbying activities in Ukraine since at least 2014.
According to CNBC, Manafort appeared in court on Tuesday for 18 charges of bank and tax fraud, including allegations that he laundered $30 million made from lobbying for pro-Russia political parties in Ukraine several years ago. If the court finds him guilty the potential sentence is life in prison.
Manafort last month was ordered to jail for violating the terms of his bail agreement. Additionally, he also awaits separate charges in Washington, D.C., involving money laundering and failing to register as a foreign agent.
Trump in a tweet directed Sessions on Wednesday asked him to end the probe.
Although the probe has already resulted in dozens of charges for Russian nationals accused of interfering in the 2016 presidential election, the President still calls the probe a “rigged witch hunt.”