ALEXANDRIA, Virginia -- President Donald Trump on Tuesday praised Paul Manafort as a "good man" and attacked special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation as "witch hunt" and a "disgrace."
Manafort, Trump's former campaign chairman, was convicted on eight counts of financial crimes Tuesday afternoon.
"Paul Manafort is a good man," Trump said. "He was with Ronald Reagan. He was with a lot of different people over the years. I feel very sad about that. It doesn't involve me but I still feel ..."
Trump noted that the charges Manafort was convicted of on Tuesday have "nothing to do with Russian collusion" and criticized the investigation for arriving at this point.
"It's a witch hunt and it's disgrace. But this has nothing to do with what they started out," Trump said."It was not the original mission, believe me. It was something very much different. It had nothing to do with Russian collusion."
Manafort was found guilty on eight counts of financial crimes, a major victory for special counsel Robert Mueller.
But jurors were unable to reach a verdict on 10 charges, and Judge T.S. Ellis declared a mistrial on those counts.
Manafort was found guilty of five tax fraud charges, one charge of hiding foreign bank accounts and two counts of bank fraud. He faces a maximum of 80 years in prison.