Ex-Trump aide Manafort ordered to jail

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President Donald Trump tweeted on Friday that he believed his former campaign manager Paul Manafort received a tough sentence and wondered why the same hasn't happened for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey.

Donald Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort has been jailed pending trial after he was found by a Washington judge to have breached the conditions of his bail.

Manafort is the first Trump campaign official to be jailed as part of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.

Manafort was booked into the Northern Neck Regional Jail in Warsaw, Virginia.

Mueller's team this month asked the judge to revoke Manafort's bail.

While other members of Mr Trump's orbit in Mr Mueller's spotlight have admitted guilt to lesser charges, Mr Manafort is one of the few holdouts.

Judge Amy Berman Jackson revoked Manafort's bail over claims he was tampering with witnesses in the case against him brought by special prosecutor Robert Mueller, who is investigating possible collusion between Trump's campaign and Russian Federation. Speaking to reporters at the White House on Friday, Trump insisted that Manafort only worked on the campaign "for a very short period of time".

"This is not middle school, I can't take away his cellphone", she said in court.

After hearing arguments in court Friday, Judge Jackson described from the bench what she called "an extraordinarily hard decision", but cited the weight of allegations against Manafort.

Now he is going to jail, giving special counsel Robert Mueller the maximum possible leverage to flip the longtime political operator against the USA president.

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Jackson said she didn't feel she could draft an order broad enough to include any potential future violation.

"Wow, what a tough sentence for Paul Manafort", Trump wrote on Twitter even though Manafort has not been sentenced - he has not been convicted on any of the charges.

Kilimnik worked with Manafort in Ukraine during that time, and during the 2016 election they were reportedly in regular contact.

A June 8 indictment accused Manafort and a longtime aide, Konstantin Kilimnik, with tampering with witnesses about their past lobbying for Ukraine.

The federal judge in Virginia has challenged Mueller's pursuit of old financial dealings as an effort to pressure Manafort into giving damaging information on President Donald Trump.

At the hearing, prosecutor Greg Andres said that Manafort can't be trusted to avoid contacting witnesses given that the indictment accuses him of lying to his lawyer and accountants, as well as the IRS and Justice Department.

Manafort's attorneys said the charges were based on the "thinnest of evidence". Gates came on board with Manafort and stayed for the duration of the campaign, later serving as deputy chairman for Trump's inaugural committee and then starting a pro-Trump PAC.

That's when we started investigating", Andres said, adding: "There is no way to monitor Mr. Manafort's communications. "They went back 12 years to get things that he did 12 years ago", Trump said, referring to the charges in the case regarding Ukraine.

"He worked for me, what, for 49 days or something?" he said.

The witnesses told investigators that they "understood" that Manafort was reaching out to influence the testimony, according to court papers.