Rupee might stabilise at 68-69 a dollar: Garg

The Economic Affairs Secretary was speaking at an interactive session organised by the Merchants’ Chamber of Commerce & Industry in Kolkata.

The rupee, which has taken a severe battering of late, is expected to stabilise at 68-69 per US dollar level riding on positive capital inflows this month, Economic Affairs Secretary Subhas Chandra Garg on Saturday said.

The rupee is already Asia’s worst performing currency and had touched an all-time low of 70.09 per US dollar on Tuesday.

According to Mr. Garg, the current turmoil in Turkey, triggered by U.S. sanctions, had not affected the perception of India. The flow of foreign portfolio investments (FPI) had not altered either and there had been no outflow in July, Mr. Garg said while speaking at an interactive session organised by the Merchants’ Chamber of Commerce & Industry here.

During the first three months, there had been outflow of capital and in the last year the total outflow was $ 20 billion, he added.

“If oil prices do not rise further, the chances of the rupee stabilising at 68-69 level is more,” Mr. Garg said.

When asked how the rupee will be affected if China devalued its currency, he said that for the first time in the last 20 years, the Chinese economy had experienced current account deficit (CAD).

“Now China’s exports and imports are altering fundamentally. So far, the depreciation of the Chinese yuan was not so high. Even if the Chinese currency is devalued, India will not be affected as long as the depreciation of all currencies vis-a-vis the dollar was similar,” he added.

There would be no problem as terms-of-trade would not change, Mr. Garg said.

“However, we are watching closely to what extent China devalues its currency,” he said.

Owing to high oil prices, India’s CAD had risen to 1.9 per cent for which the rupee was depreciating. This called for a need for higher capital inflows, he added.

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India’s Modi sees Kerala’s plight as flood death toll climbs

KOCHI, India (Reuters) – Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised the flood-ravaged state of Kerala more helicopters, boats and other equipment needed to evacuate tens of thousands of stranded people as he was given an aerial tour of stricken areas on Saturday.

Rescuers evacuate people from a flooded area to a safer place in Aluva in the southern state of Kerala, India, August 18, 2018. REUTERS/Sivaram V

There are growing fears that the death toll, already in the hundreds, could escalate rapidly, with so many people still marooned, desperate for food and potable water.

(For a graphic on ‘Kerala underwater’ click, tmsnrt.rs/2L0MiIw)

The chief minister of the southwestern state has estimated that two million people have been forced to move into relief camps since the monsoon season brought torrential rains three months ago.

He put the death toll from floods and landslides at 324. An official involved in the relief operations told Reuters on Saturday that 185 people had died since Aug. 8, when the waters began to rise, causing Kerala’s worst floods in a century.

(MAP: tmsnrt.rs/2OKhKNt)

A woman cries as she holds her son after they were evacuated from a flooded area in Aluva in the southern state of Kerala, India, August 18, 2018. REUTERS/Sivaram V

Modi was taken by helicopter over inundated farmland and villages, as India’s military stepped up its response to an emergency that is still unfolding.

“More helicopters, boats and other equipment are being sought and the Modi promised to provide all of these as fast as possible,” Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan told journalists.

“The air marshal in charge of the air operations said more helicopters are on the way,” Vijayan said.

The chief minister said initial estimates suggest the state may have lost 195 billion rupees ($2.78 billion) as a result of the floods.

Modi declared initial assistance of 5 billion rupees ($71.3 million) and promised more later, Vijayan said.

The prime minister also gave assurances that the federal government would send desperately needed grains, as storage in the state had been flooded and stocks destroyed.

As the rescue efforts ramped up, more army boats and helicopters were operating in the worst-affected areas to “save as many people as possible,” the government official involved in the rescue operation told Reuters by telephone from Thiruvananthapuram, the state capital.

Slideshow (5 Images)

In some communities, thousands of people remained stranded on roof tops and upper floors, without food, water, and medicine.

Some people have died in relief camps too, officials said.

According to a lawmaker in Pathanamthitta district, some 10,000 people were stranded and in grave danger unless they were rescued urgently.

A Reuters witness in Aluva town, nearly 250 km (155 miles)from Thiruvananthapuram, said army helicopters airlifted up to 14 marooned residents, including children and elderly people from an apartment.

Joseph Moolakkaat, owner of an agricultural business, was trapped in a 10-storey block near the banks of the Periyar river in Aluva. The electricity was cut off three days earlier.

“There are seven families in this apartment now. We’re safe compared to many others, but we’re cut off,” he told Reuters as the battery ran down on his cellphone.

“Water has started receding from today morning onwards. But our basement is still under water. Till yesterday night, around 1 km area around our apartment was under at least 3 ft of water.”

Monsoon rains are likely to ease from Sunday, an official with the state-run India Meteorological Department told Reuters.

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China sacks 6 senior officials at food and drug regulator over vaccine scandal

  • In a posting on its website, the State Administration for Market Regulation said that among officials dismissed were Ding Jianhua.
  • Changsheng was accused in July of falsifying data for a rabies vaccine and manufacturing an ineffective vaccine for babies, sparking widespread public anger and multiple probes including police investigations.

China said on Saturday it has sacked six senior officials at its food and drug regulator after a safety scandal at vaccine maker Changsheng Biotechnology Co Ltd revealed failings at the government body including inadequate supervision.

In a posting on its website, the State Administration for Market Regulation said that among officials dismissed were Ding Jianhua, who headed two departments at the China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA). The same statement was posted on the CFDA’s website.

Changsheng was accused in July of falsifying data for a rabies vaccine and manufacturing an ineffective vaccine for babies, sparking widespread public anger and multiple probes including police investigations.

The Changsheng case exposed that the CFDA officials “did not provide sufficient supervision, strong enough oversight, nor were they strict enough in their inspections,” the posting said.

While there were no known reports of people being harmed by the vaccines, regulators ordered Changsheng to halt their production and recall the rabies vaccine. Changsheng has apologized and said it is cooperating with investigations.

On Friday, Beijing said it had sacked a senior provincial official and was probing a former top drug regulator. Xinhua also reported that more than 40 government officials, including seven at the provincial level, have been held accountable for the scandal and some have been sacked.

In a separate Saturday report, Xinhua said the central province of Hubei has removed six government officials from their posts in relation to another inferior vaccines case involving Chinese company Wuhan Institute of Biological Products.

The company on Friday said on its website that it has dismissed its deputy general manager in charge of production and warned or fined eight other employees.

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Maduro orders 96 percent devaluation in hyperinflation-stricken Venezuela

  • “I want the country to recover and I have the formula. Trust me,” Maduro said in a nighttime speech broadcast on state television.
  • Economists expressed doubts that Venezuela’s cash-strapped government, which faces U.S. sanctions and has defaulted on its bondholders, would succeed.

Venezuela’s president Nicolas Maduro announced on Friday a single exchange rate pegged to his socialist governments petro cryptocurrency, effectively devaluing by 96 percent in a move economists said would fan hyperinflation in the chaotic country.

In one of the biggest economic overhauls of Maduro’s five-year government, the former bus driver and union leader also said he would hike the minimum wage by over 3,000 percent, boost the corporate tax rate, and increase highly-subsidized gas prices in coming weeks.

“I want the country to recover and I have the formula. Trust me,” Maduro said in a nighttime speech broadcast on state television.

But economists expressed doubts that Venezuela’s cash-strapped government, which faces U.S. sanctions and has defaulted on its bondholders, would succeed.

Venezuelans will see their meager salaries further eroded and companies will struggle with major increases to both taxes and the minimum wage, they said.

Amid this aggressive devaluation and monetary expansions due to salaries and bonuses, we are expecting a much more aggressive stage of hyperinflation. All the more so in a context where the elimination of excessive money printing is not credible. The worst of all worlds, said Venezuelan economist Asdrubal Oliveros of consultancy Ecoanalitica.

The International Monetary Fund has predicted that inflation in Venezuela would hit 1 million percent this year.

After a decade-long oil bonanza that spawned a consumption boom in the OPEC member, many poor citizens are now reduced to scouring through garbage to find food as monthly salaries amount to a few U.S. dollars a month.

Hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans have emigrated by bus across South America in one of the region’s worst migration crises.

    “World champions in economic disasters!” opposition leader Henrique Capriles tweeted after Maduro’s announcement. “No Venezuelan deserves to live this tragedy or that these incapable people destroy our nation!”

    'Petrolizing'

    Maduro said he would overhaul Venezuela’s disparate exchange rates and peg salaries, pensions, and prices to the petro, a cryptocurrency launched by the government earlier this year.

    It was not immediately clear how the government intended to carry out the financial changes and the Information ministry did not respond to a request for details.

    Cryptocurrency experts have cast doubt on the petro as a functional financial instrument, citing a lack of clear details on how it operates and U.S. sanctions that make it off limits.

    President Donald Trump in March signed an executive order barring any U.S.-based financial transactions involving the petro, with officials warning that the Venezuelan cryptocurrency was a scam.”

    Venezuela’s government has not provided a clear breakdown of petro investors or how much they have collected from the cryptocurrency’s sale.

    Maduro argues that he is the victim of a Washington-led “economic war” designed to sabotage his administration through sanctions and price-gouging. He has vowed that the petro will abolish the “tyranny” of the dollar and lead to an economic rebirth in Venezuela, home to the world’s biggest crude reserves.

    Economists, however, point to Venezuela’s strict currency controls, botched nationalizations, and excessive money creation as the root causes of its economic crisis.

    Maduro said on Friday that one petro would equal $60 and have the equivalent of 360 million bolivars. That implies a new exchange rate of 6 million bolivars per dollar, broadly on par with widely used black market exchange rates, entailing a 96 percent devaluation compared with the current official DICOM rate of 248,832 bolivars per dollar.

    “They’ve dollarized our prices. I am petrolizing salaries and petrolizing prices,” Maduro said. “We are going to convert the petro into the reference that pegs the entire economy’s movements.”

    Maduro added that the minimum wage would amount to “half a petro,” baffling some Venezuelans and sparking the Twitter hashtag #BlackFriday.

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    Qatar accuses Saudis of barring haj pilgrims, Riyadh says untrue

    RIYADH (Reuters) – Qatar has accused Saudi Arabia of barring its citizens from this year’s haj, something Riyadh denies, saying a diplomatic dispute is not stopping Qataris from making the pilgrimage to Mecca.

    FILE PHOTO: Muslim pilgrims attend Friday prayer at the Grand mosque ahead of annual Haj pilgrimage in the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia August 17, 2018. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra

    Although 1,200 Qataris are eligible to perform the haj under a quota system, Qatar says it has become impossible to get permits, blaming the campaign by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt to cut trade and diplomatic ties with the country.

    Abdullah Al-Kaabi of the state-run Qatar National Human Rights Committee said Saudi Arabia had shut down an electronic system used by travel agencies to obtain permits for pilgrims from Qatar.

    “There is no chance this year for Qatari citizens and residents to travel for haj,” he told Reuters. “Registration of pilgrims from the State of Qatar remains closed, and residents of Qatar cannot be granted visas as there are no diplomatic missions.”

    A Saudi official said Qatar had blocked several registration links set up for its pilgrims.

    An official at Saudi Arabia’s haj ministry said a group of Qataris had arrived for the pilgrimage which runs from Sunday to Aug. 24, but he did not say how many there were or whether they had traveled directly from Qatar. Last year, 1,624 Qatari pilgrims attended, he said.

    ‘LOST MONEY’

    Saudi Arabia says the Qatari government is using the issue for political ends and it “rejects any effort to politicize the haj or drag political differences” into the pilgrimage, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

    Saudi Arabia, and the three other Arab countries, closed land, air and sea links with Qatar in July last year, accusing it of funding terrorism, something Doha denies.

    Saudi Arabia has said Qatari pilgrims can arrive on any airline other than Qatar Airways.

    But three travel agencies in Doha told Reuters they had stopped trying to sell haj packages, which can cost up to 120,000 riyals ($33,000).

    “Last year we lost a lot of money as the crisis started after we had booked everything in Mecca and Medina and we had to pay people back,” said a manager of one travel agency in Doha, declining to be named due to the sensitivity of the matter.

    “This year, nobody is really trying as people have understood there is no way to go there in these circumstances.”

    Riyadh temporarily opened the land border for the haj last year, but not this time. A travel agency catering to migrant laborers in Doha said that had hit business.

    “We sell haj journeys by bus with accommodation for around 12,000 riyals,” its manager said. “But as nobody can get visas and land borders are closed, it is zero bookings this year.”

    The diplomatic crisis has defied mediation efforts by the United States, which has strong alliances with both sides and fears the split among its Sunni Muslim allies could benefit Shi’ite Iran.

    Saudi Arabia and Iran are involved in proxy wars, including in Yemen and Syria, and tensions between the two have spilled over into the haj in the past.

    In 2016, Iran boycotted the haj over security concerns after hundreds of people were killed in a crush there. Iranian pilgrims returned in 2017.

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    India’s Infosys says CFO Ranganath has tendered resignation

    MUMBAI (Reuters) – The Chief Financial Officer of Infosys Ltd has tendered his resignation just seven months after India’s second-biggest software services exporter appointed a new Chief Executive Officer.

    FILE PHOTO: The logo of Infosys is pictured inside the company’s headquarters in Bengaluru, India, April 13, 2017. REUTERS/Abhishek N. Chinnappa

    The board of Bengaluru-headquartered Infosys said in a stock exchange filing on Saturday it had accepted the resignation of CFO M.D. Ranganath, appointed to the post in 2015.

    Ranganath, also known as Ranga, will continue as CFO till Nov. 16 this year, Infosys said, adding that its board will immediately commence the search for a new CFO.

    Infosys, once the bellwether of India’s showpiece $154 billion IT industry, last year witnessed a public row between founding executives and then-CEO Vishal Sikka over alleged corporate governance lapses. Sikka eventually exited the company in August 2017.

    Salil Parekh, a long-serving Capgemini executive, took over as Infosys CEO in January this year, at a time the company’s board is chaired by another key co-founder, Nandan Nilekani.

    “After a successful career spanning 18 years in Infosys including as CFO for the last three crucial years, I now plan to pursue professional opportunities in new areas,” the Infosys filing quoted Ranganath as saying.

    Ranganath did not immediately respond to calls or text messages seeking comment.

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    Former cricketer Imran Khan sworn-in as Pakistan’s prime minister

    ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Former cricket star Imran Khan was sworn in as prime minister of Pakistan on Saturday, taking on the challenge of forming a coalition to govern as a currency crisis looms over the turbulent, nuclear-armed South Asian country.

    A man looks at a television screen displaying cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan swearing in as Prime Minister of Pakistan, in Karachi, Pakistan August 18, 2018. REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro

    Khan, a firebrand nationalist, won a general election last month promising to fight corruption and drastically reduce poverty among Pakistan’s 208 million mostly-Muslim people.

    Wearing a traditional black sherwani coat, in the style of his hero and Pakistan founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Khan recited the oath of office and vowed to respect the constitution.

    “I will bear true faith and allegiance to Pakistan,” Khan read from the oath, standing next to President Mamnoon Hussain.

    Later, he was given a guard of honor on the lawns of the prime minister’s house.

    Military coup’s have punctuated Pakistan’s 71-year history, and Khan’s election was only the second democratic transfer of power. If he completes his five-year term he will be the first Pakistani prime minister to do so.

    His Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), or Justice Party, holds 151 of the 342 seats in the national assembly, where a vote was held on Friday to decide who would be asked to form a government.

    FILE PHOTO: Imran Khan (C), chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) political party speaks after he was elected as Prime Minister at the National Assembly (Lower House of Parliament) in Islamabad, Pakistan August 17, 2018. National Assembly Handout via REUTERS

    Khan easily defeated rival Shehbaz Sharif from the outgoing Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party, garnering 176 votes to Sharif’s 96 votes.

    Pakistan has been plagued by economic boom-and-bust cycles as well as by Islamist militant violence in more recent years.

    And one of Khan’s first calls as prime minister will be figuring out how to deal with a looming currency crisis that threatens to derail an economy growing at around six percent annually.

    The new coalition government must urgently decide whether to ask the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a bailout, or seek support from China, the country Pakistan regards as its most reliable ally.

    Relations with the United States are frayed, with U.S. officials fuming over Pakistan’s alleged support Taliban fighters in Afghanistan. Islamabad denies aiding the insurgents.

    The oath-taking was attended by scores of Pakistani celebrities, sportsmen, and politicians, as well as former Indian cricketer Navjot Singh Sidhu, who serves as tourism minister for India’s Punjab province.

    Khan has promised to create millions of jobs and build world-class hospitals and schools in a country where more than 40 percent of the population is illiterate.

    After spending much of his political career on the fringes, the Oxford-educated former sportsman rose to power on a populist platform, and in recent years his anti-corruption message has increasingly resonated with Pakistanis, especially the young.

    Khan’s opponents say he owes his ascent to covert support from the country’s powerful military, though both the army and Khan deny collusion.

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    Omarosa Has Stash Of Video In Addition To Audiotapes: Report

    WASHINGTON (AP) — It’s not just audiotapes.

    Omarosa Manigault Newman has a stash of video, emails, text messages and other documentation supporting the claims in her tell-all book about her time in the Trump White House, a person with direct knowledge of the records told The Associated Press Friday.

    Manigault Newman has made clear that she plans to continue selectively releasing the pieces of evidence if President Donald Trump and his associates continue to attack her credibility and challenge the claims in her book, “Unhinged.” She’s already dribbled out audio recordings of conversations, and video clips, texts or email could follow, according to the person who described what Manigault Newman has called a multimedia “treasure trove.” The person was not authorized to discuss the issue publicly and asked for anonymity.

    “I will not be silenced. I will not be intimidated. I’m not going to be bullied by Donald Trump,” the former Trump aide told The Associated Press this week as she seemed to dismiss a threat from Trump’s campaign. She spoke to the AP hours after Trump’s campaign announced it was filing an arbitration action against her alleging she’d violated a signed agreement with the campaign that prohibits her from disclosing confidential information.

    She told PBS in a separate interview this week: “I have a significant amount, in fact, a treasure trove, of multimedia backup for everything that’s not only in “Unhinged,” but everything that I assert about Donald Trump.”

    Manigault Newman claims Trump officials offered her a job on the campaign as a way of silencing her, after she was fired from the White House. She’s accused Trump of being racist and suffering from a mental decline.

    The White House has countered by branding Manigault Newman as a disgruntled former staffer with credibility issues who is now trying to profit from a book based on false attacks against an individual she has called a mentor and has admired for more than a decade.

    Trump has also lashed out at Manigault Newman, calling her a “lowlife,” ″wacky and deranged” and a “dog.”

    Simon & Schuster this week also dismissed threatened legal action from Trump’s campaign. A campaign attorney told Simon & Schuster in a letter that “Unhinged” violated Manigault Newman’s confidentiality agreement, but the publisher responded that it was acting “well within” its rights.

    “Unhinged” has spent the past few days at No. 2 on Amazon.com’s best-seller list, trailing only Rachel Hollis’ lifestyle book “Girl, Wash Your Face.”

    Manigault Newman was director of communications for a White House office that networks with various constituency groups until she was fired last December by chief of staff John Kelly, citing “significant integrity issues.” Before joining the administration, Manigault Newman handled African-American outreach for Trump’s presidential campaign. She has known Trump since 2003, when she became a contestant on Trump’s TV show, “The Apprentice.”

    She has already released several secret audio recordings, including of the meeting in which she was fired by Kelly.

    In another recording, Trump’s daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, is heard offering Manigault Newman $15,000 a month – after she was fired from the White House – for a campaign job requiring her to be “positive.” Lara Trump is a senior adviser on Trump’s re-election campaign.

    Manigault Newman also alleges that tape exists of Trump using a racial slur while working on “The Apprentice.” Trump has denied this, saying on Twitter that “I don’t have that word in my vocabulary, and never have. She made it up.”

    AP National Writer Hillel Italie in New York contributed to this report.

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    Trump reportedly plans to yank more security clearances to distract from negative news cycles

    President Donald Trump. Evan Vucci/AP

    • White House officials are reportedly planning on holding onto more prepared security clearance revocations, and selectively releasing them as a distraction to negative news cycles, as needed.
    • In a newly released memoir, former Trump aide Omarosa Manigault Newman made some startling allegations about her White House tenure, including alleging that she heard Trump say the N-word in an audio recording.
    • One day later, the White House announced it revoked former CIA director John Brennan’s security clearance.

    As President Donald Trump expressed interest in revoking “most, if not all” of the security clearances for a select group of current and former government officials, White House communication officials are believed to be planning on releasing them selectively, as a distraction to negative news cycles, The Washington Post reported on Friday.

    White House staffers, including press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and deputy chief of staff Bill Shine, reportedly discussed timing the revocations so that it would divert attention away from unflattering stories about Trump and his administration, one senior White House official told The Post.

    President Donald Trump and Omarosa Manigault Newman. Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

    This week, the White House faced a string of embarrassing news reports stemming from the release of former White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman’s tell-all book, “Unhinged: An Insider’s Account of the Trump White House.”

    Omarosa, who was abruptly fired in December, recorded several phone calls with Trump and other White House officials, and detailed them in her memoir. In addition to saving a “treasure trove” of media files, Omarosa made other bombshell claims about her rocky tenure, including a claim that she heard Trump say the N-word in an audio recording.

    In the days leading up to the release of Omarosa’s book, the White House dealt with a steady stream of embarrassing audio leaks and claims made by the former staffer. Despite his staff’s advice on not to address her claims, Trump denied the allegations and blasted Omarosa by calling her “that dog” and “Wacky and Deranged.”

    But on Wednesday, one day after the book’s release, the White House announced that it revoked former CIA director John Brennan’s security clearance.

    Brennan is believed to have stood out to Trump after appearing on TV and becoming, in Trump’s view, too “political,” aides told The Post. The former CIA director has been especially critical of Trump during his presidency and accused him of “political corruption,” along with other unflattering charges on Twitter.

    Former CIA director John Brennan. Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

    In addition to Trump’s fiery tweets against Brennan, the White House accused him of “erratic conduct and behavior” in explaining its decision.

    “Mr. Brennan’s lying and recent conduct, characterized by increasingly frenzied commentary, is wholly inconsistent with access to the nation’s most closely held secrets and facilitates the very aim of our adversaries, which is to sow division and chaos,” the White House said.

    Brennan adamantly denied that characterization and made rebuttals on Twitter and The New York Times.

    In additional to revoking Brennan’s security clearance, Trump signaled he wanted yank more security clearances from current and former officials he believes either criticized him or were involved in the Russia investigation, according to The Post.

    The timing of Brennan’s security clearance revocation was not a coincidence, a senior White House official reportedly said. While a statement for Brennan’s revocation was composed in July, three weeks prior to the official announcement, the White House decided to finally pull the trigger on Wednesday in order to derail the media coverage surrounding Omarosa’s book.

    To an extent, the move was successful. The decision sparked outrage and once again brought widespread condemnation and rebuke to Trump’s doorstep. Fellow veterans and political luminaries hailed Brennan as a patriot, forcing Omarosa to share the spotlight and airtime on TV.

    The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday night.

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    Trump’s ‘Good Person’ Nod To Paul Manafort Is A Sign To Keep Quiet, Ex-U.S. Attorney Says

    President Donald Trump’s comment calling former campaign chairman Paul Manafort a “very good person,” despite 18 criminal charges against him, was a “strategic” message to Manafort that he could be rewarded with a pardon if he keeps his mouth shut, former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance said Friday on MSNBC.

    “I think the whole Manafort trial is very sad,” Trump told reporters before boarding Marine One on Friday. “He happens to be a very good person. And I think it’s very sad what they’ve done to Paul Manafort.”

    Vance noted: “If you’re Paul Manafort and you hear about that — and we all know Paul Manafort’s heard about that — it’s difficult to read that as anything other than a message to Manafort: ‘Hold on, don’t cut a deal with the government while the jury is out.’” A deal would almost certainly involve cooperation in other investigations, possibly including the president.

    Trump “is, in essence, saying, ‘Don’t do that. Help is on the way. I can pardon you in the future,’” said Vance. If word about Trump’s comments gets out to a member of the jury, which has not been sequestered, there’s “great risk of prejudicing the jury.” 

    Trump’s conduct is “reprehensible,” she said. “He should be told to stay out of the criminal process.” But she also warned that any pardon from Trump could potentially be part of a case against him for obstruction of justice.

    Manafort’s attorney Kevin Downing said Friday that his client’s team “really appreciates the support of President Trump.”

    Asked Thursday if he would pardon Manafort if he’s convicted, Trump said he wasn’t going to talk about it.

    The jury in Manafort’s trial was unable to reach a verdict Friday and will reconvene Monday.

    Judge T.S. Ellis III revealed that he has received a number of death threats during the proceedings and is being protected by U.S. marshals.

    Listen to what else Vance had to say about Trump’s “message” to Manafort in the video up top.

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