Just hours after two of his former top lieutenants either pleaded guilty or were found guilty by jury on a series federal criminal charges, Donald Trump traveled to Charleston, West Virginia, where he held a campaign-style rally, as CBS News reported — his 13th of the year and 23rd since his January 20, 2017, inauguration.
At the rally, according to the Washington Post, Trump simply ignored the convictions of his former personal lawyer and “fixer” Michael Cohen, and his 2016 campaign manager, Paul Manafort.
Manafort was found guilty on eight of 18 charges by a jury in an Alexandria, Virginia, federal court including two counts of bank fraud related to $4.4 million on loans that he obtained, as well as five counts of filing falsified tax returns — one count each for the years 2010 through 2014 — and a count of failing to report a foreign bank account on his 2012 taxes, according to a Washington Post report.
Cohen “pleaded guilty to five counts of tax evasion, one count of making a false statement to a bank and two campaign finance violations: willfully causing an illegal corporate contribution and making an excessive campaign contribution,” reported The Post. He also implicated Trump in hush money payments to adult video actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy centerfold Karen McDougal, the two campaign finance crimes to which Cohen pleaded guilty, the Inquisitr reported.
As seen in the video below, before the West Virginia rally, Trump did comment on the Manafort convictions, calling Manafort “a good man.”
Aaron Rupar, a reporter for the Think Progress political site, compiled many of the video highlights from Trump’s West Virginia rally on Tuesday, including the moment when Trump screamed, “This guy is crazy! Our president is crazy!”
At one point in the rally, Trump called West Virginia’s 67-year-old Republican Governor Jim Justice to join him at the podium, introducing the heavyset Justice as “the largest most beautiful man.” When Justice had finished speaking and departed the podium, Trump again made a sarcastic comment about the governor’s weight issues.
Though he failed to mention the multiple convictions of his former associates Manafort and Cohen at the rally, the crowd at the West Virginia rally chants “lock her up,” a chant directed at 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
Trump also told a number of falsehoods at the rally, including his claim, Rupar reported on Twitter, that his proposed wall along the U.S.-Mexican border is “coming along,” when in fact no funding has been allocated for the wall and no construction has begun. But he also claimed falsely that the United States pays “90 percent” of expenses for the military alliance NATO.
Trump also told what appears to be a made-up-on-the-spot story about a man driving an American car in China.
Trump also again ridiculed the Special Counsel’s investigation into collusion between his 2016 campaign and the Russian government, saying, “fake news and the Russian witch hunt. Where is the collusion? Find the collusion,” CBS reported.