President Donald Trump has avoided mention of his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his former personal attorney Michael Cohen at a campaign rally in Charleston, West Virginia.
The closest reference on Tuesday night came when he slammed the special counsel investigation into Russian election interference as a “witch hunt” and asked: “Where is the collusion?”
Hours before the rally, Manafort was convicted in federal court in Virginia on eight counts of financial crimes. Cohen pleaded guilty in federal court in New York to eight felonies, including breaking federal campaign finance law by arranging payments to two women who said they had sexual relationships with Trump before he became president.
Trump has denied the relationships.
Cohen says he made the payments at Trump’s direction.
Trump says living with what he calls “fake news” is preferable to censorship on social media.
He added at the rally that “social media censorship” is “the new thing.” But he says he’d rather have “fake news” over having anybody “stopped and censored.”
Says Trump: “So we’ll live with fake news. I mean, I hate to say it … because that’s by far the better alternative.”
Trump accused social media companies over the weekend of “totally discriminating against Republican/Conservative voices.”
It comes as many outlets have banned “Infowars” conspiracy theorist Alex Jones from their platforms. Jones is being sued for saying the 2012 shooting massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School was staged.
Trump appeared on Jones’ program during the 2016 campaign and praised his “amazing” reputation.