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In tweets, Trump sought to contrast Manaforts posture with that of Michael Cohen, the presidents former lawyer and fixer, who on Tuesday entered a guilty plea in a Manhattan federal court on eight counts.

On Tuesday, Donald Trump aide Paul Manafort was found guilty of eight financial crimes in a court in Virginia. It had nothing to do with Russian collusion. Trump's lawyers have said Mueller plans to adhere to that guidance, though Mueller's office has never independently confirmed that. Duncan said that although she was personally a big supporter of President Donald Trump, she thought that the evidence against Manafort, Trump's former campaign manager, was overwhelming. The ramifications could extend to this fall's midterms and beyond, whether as a cudgel for Democrats who oppose him or as a rallying cry for Republicans eager to stave off congressional investigations.

"I know all about flipping", Trump said. There would presumably be no bar against charging a president after he or she departs the White House.

Yet she offered no explanation for Trump's shifting accounts.

Lanny J. Davis, Cohen's attorney, said his client fulfilled a promise to "tell the truth" about Trump. He also remarked on his surprise at the level of attention the case has received and the criticism he received for his management of the trial. In the case of Cohen, he stood up in a courtroom and implicated the president in a crime. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders says Trump "eventually learned" about the payments.

In August 2016, McDougal was paid $150,000 by American Media Inc., the parent company of the National Enquirer, for the rights to her story, which the company then shelved. "The bill is coming due for Trump with regard to his many years of lawlessness and arrogance".

But two people familiar with their meeting said the dispute was not discussed.

The presidential candidate here is Trump and the payments were to adult film actress Stormy Daniels and a former Playboy playmate, a clear implication of the president.

"We're still left sort of hanging here, but I do think today brought us all one step closer to a conclusion to all of this", he added.

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Still, Trump, who boasts of his track record hiring "the best people", must grapple with the reality that a growing number of advisers are finding themselves on the wrong side of the law.

The first campaign finance charge Cohen pleaded guilty to was knowingly and willfully causing a corporation to make a contribution and expenditure over the legal limit in an effort to influence an election.

"Anytime your lawyer is convicted of anything it's probably not a good day", said Sen.

But Sen. Lindsey Graham of SC, who in March said firing Sessions would "blow up" the Judiciary Committee, has been shifting his tone.

Gates pleaded guilty in February to charges of conspiracy against the United States and lying to federal authorities. When Yanukovych was ousted from office in 2014, that source of income dried up, forcing Manafort to find new and nefarious ways to support his lavish lifestyle. He also is cooperating with Mueller.

Now the question is whether the president might be tempted to use his pardon power to overturn the jury's verdict and preempt the second trial Manafort is facing next month in Washington, DC, on charges of money laundering, failing to register as a foreign agent and attempted obstruction of justice.

Speaking to reporters aboard Air Force One, Trump denies knowing about the payment to Daniels. However, federal prosecutors say he will likely be sentenced to only eight to 10 years - in addition to whatever sentence could result from any convictions in the September trial.

Duncan said there was no reason to have convicted Manafort on one FBAR count and not the other three. This feels like everything has caught up to him.

Manafort was also in the pay of a Russian-backed leader in Ukraine, former President Viktor Yanukovych. "He was unhappy and exasperated", an official said. He did not mention the counts against Cohen or Manafort during the first hour of the event, but did rail against Mueller's probe of Russian interference. One aide said that Trump is battle-tested at this point and knows how to deal with extreme stress. "We're getting derailed by this whole special counsel thing - let the man do his job". "Where is the collusion?"