• Manafort claims Trump "got emotional" during a phone call after pardoning him.
  • He wrote in his new memoir that his fellow prisoners couldn't understand why he wasn't pardoned sooner.
  • "To them, the worst criminal is not somebody who breaks the law, but a rat," he wrote.

Former President Donald Trump called his former campaign chair, Paul Manafort, after pardoning him in 2020 and "got emotional near the end of the conversation," Manafort claims in his forthcoming memoir "Political Prisoner: Persecuted, Prosecuted, but Not Silenced."

Trump "cursed" what Manafort had been through and thanked him for "handling the crisis the way I had handled it," wrote Manafort, who was convicted during special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of the Trump campaign's ties to Russia. "He said a lot of people would have caved with that pressure, but he always knew I had character." 

The long-time political consultant, whose memoir will be released August 16, spent less than two years behind bars after his convictions on federal tax fraud, bank fraud, failure to report foreign bank accounts, conspiracy to obstruct justice, and conspiracy against the US.

"'You are a man,'" Trump said, according to Manafort. "He kept repeating that. 'You are a real man. My friends have been calling all day to tell me how happy they are that I did this.'"

Manafort wrote that Trump started the conversation by saying, "I've been wanting to do this for a long time," and that he refrained from asking why Trump had not.

The Manafort pardon reignited long-burning questions about whether Trump was using his presidential pardon power to undermine the Russia investigation.

Manafort wrote that he felt he "deserved a pardon" because he shouldn't have been in prison, and his fellow prisoners couldn't understand why he hadn't gotten one sooner.

"To them, the worst criminal is not somebody who breaks the law, but a rat," he wrote. "To them, Trump should have made sure the family was taken care of—that I wasn't in jail anymore. They would ask me, 'What's wrong with him? Why aren't you being pardoned?'"

Manafort said to his family that Christmas that "Trump was Santa, and he gave me the best present ever—my life back."


Read the original article on Business Insider