President Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, was indicted Monday on money laundering, tax and foreign lobbying charges, including one count of “conspiracy against the United States.”
It was almost too much for Twitter to handle.
In anticipation of Monday’s revelation, many on social media shared a parody video of members of the Trump administration — including Michael Flynn, Steve Bannon, Jeff Sessions, Reince Priebus, Kellyanne Conway, Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump and last but not least President Trump — all getting arrested to the sound of the 1963 James Bond theme song “From Russia with Love.”
“It’s Mueller Time! Trump Administration Season Ending,” proclaimed the caption for the video created by YouTube artist 1oneclone.
That was just the beginning. Since Manafort became the first person to be charged in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into alleged links between Russia and Trump’s campaign, the Twitter jokes and criticisms haven’t slowed down. Here’s what people are saying:
Elsewhere on Twitter, the president insisted that Manafort’s alleged crimes — which the indictment says spanned from 2006 to 2017, including the five months he worked for the Trump campaign and his three months as chairman — had nothing to do with Trump or his campaign. He also doubled down on his denials of collusion with Russia.
A number of people on social media pointed out that Trump’s claim that Manafort’s alleged wrongdoing predated the 2016 campaign was false.
Manafort and Rick Gates, a business partner who was Manafort’s deputy in the Trump campaign, were charged on Friday in an indictment unsealed Monday after the two men surrendered to the FBI, Reuters reported. Also on Monday, George Papadopoulos, Trump’s former campaign foreign policy adviser, pleaded guilty to lying about his ties to Russia.
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According to CNN, Manafort has denied “knowingly” colluding with Russian operatives during the 2016 campaign. He also previously denied “financial wrongdoing regarding his Ukraine-related payments, his bank accounts in offshore tax shelters and his various real-estate transactions over the years.” Gates has also denied any allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, CNN reported.