Paul Manafort, onetime campaign manager for former President Donald Trump, told Business Insider that he will not apologize for his past mistakes, because he's "always had the right motives."
Manafort, who was in prison for almost two years on bank and fraud charges, said, "There are certain things that I would probably not do again. But I don't apologize for things I've done in my life. Because I've always had the right motives for what I did in my life."
Manafort, who served as Trump’s campaign chair from March to August 2016, was convicted four years ago on bank fraud and tax charges. He was sentenced to seven years in prison as a result of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Moscow's interference in the 2016 election and whether the Trump campaign had colluded with Russia, according to The Hill.
Trump pardoned Manafort in December 2020.
In the interview with Business Insider, Manafort made his first public admission that he shared polling data from the Trump campaign in 2016 with Konstantin Kilimnik, a longtime business associate with suspected connections to Russian intelligence.
Kilimnik then gave the information to Russian spies, according to the U.S. Treasury Department, which called the data "sensitive information on polling and campaign strategy."
The Treasury Department said Manafort's acknowledgment contradicts his denials during the Mueller probe that he had anything to do with the transfer of sensitive campaign data. It also differs from what he writes in his forthcoming memoir, "Political Prisoner: Persecuted, Prosecuted, But Not Silenced" in which he says only that he gave Kilimnik "talking points" on polling data that was already public.
Manafort told Business Insider, "The data that I shared with him was a combination of public information and stuff for the spring that was — it was old."
The claim that the information he gave Kilimnik was of no worth has been one of Manafort's main lines of defense.
The summary of Manafort's book, scheduled to be released next week, states that the charges against him were "all politically motivated" and "manufactured by the Special Counsel's team for one reason and one reason only: to get Paul to testify against Donald Trump about a conspiracy that never existed.”
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