An Impromptu Interview and Manafort Goes to Jail

The Trump administration has been incredibly busy today, starting this morning when Trump made a surprise appearance on Fox & Friends. It was during this interview that Trump announced his tariffs on China - 23% on US$50 billion on Chinese imports. China retaliated saying that they would impose the “same scale and the same strength tariffs.” As well as commenting on the report issued by the Inspector General issued yesterday, claiming that he was attempting to stay out of all Department of Justice investigations unless it becomes too out of hand. Trump also stated in his spontaneous interview that he wants “his people” to listen to him in the same way North Koreans listen to dictator Kim Jong Un; “He speaks and his people sit up at attention. I want my people to do the same." Later in the day Trump claimed this statement was meant in a joking manner. Trump went on to talk about his close relationship with Kim and that he would have him visit the White House. Trump also stated that his salute to the Korean soldier as a sign of respect and nothing more. He finished his interview by defending Sarah Huckabee Sanders and the backlash she has been receiving from the press. Trump stated that he was happy with Sanders,  that she was doing an incredible job in her position and that she is not expected to leave the White House any time soon.

Former campaign chairman Paul Manafort was sent to jail today.  Manafort is currently facing seven criminal charges in DC federal court, including tampering and conspiracy to obstruct justice. Manafort had plead not guilty to these charges. U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson’s order to end Manafort’s house arrest comes just two weeks  after Robert Mueller's prosecutors accused Manafort of witness tampering. This order puts an end to Manafort’s attempt to lighten his house arrest restrictions after he plead guilty to foreign lobbying violations. "The harm in this case is harm to the administration of justice and harm to the integrity of the court's system," Berman Jackson told Manafort in court. Judge Berman Jackson ended the trial by stating; "This hearing is not about politics, is not about conduct of the office of the special counsel." Manafort’s case began back in October when he first plead guilty and had his bail set at $10 million and was additionally placed under house arrest. Manafort attempted to pay his bail in December but could not provide the court with proper documentation of the payment. During the process to negotiate Manafort's bail, prosecutors discovered possible cases of mortgage fraud potentially related to the property put up for Manafort's bail. Just as it seemed Manafort was going to be able to post his bail, legally, the Mueller team discovered evidence of possible witness tampering. In addition to the seven charges in DC, Manafort is also facing 18 criminal charges for financial fraud and falsely reporting allegations to the court.