Report: Aides think Trump is signaling he wants to pardon Manafort

Politico reports that President Trump’s attorneys and advisers have suggested against pardoning his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort but aides “expect the president to do it anyway.”

“The president’s characterization of his former campaign chairman as a victim and ‘brave man’ is being read by aides as a signal that Trump wants to use his unilateral authority to issue pardons to absolve Manafort, according to eight current and former administration officials and outside advisers,” the outlet added.

However, Politico’s sources also said there’s no indication of an immediate pardon by Trump.

Trump on Wednesday expressed sympathy for Manafort, who was found guilty on eight counts in his financial fraud trial.

Trump tweeted: “I feel very badly for Paul Manafort and his wonderful family. ‘Justice’ took a 12 year old tax case, among other things, applied tremendous pressure on him and, unlike Michael Cohen, he refused to ‘break’ – make up stories in order to get a ‘deal.’ Such respect for a brave man!”

Days before the conviction, Trump simultaneously distanced himself from and voiced support for Manafort.

“He worked for me for a very short period of time. But you know what? He happens to be a very good person. And I think it’s very sad what they’ve done to Paul Manafort,” he told reporters on August 17.

RELATED: Inside Manafort's trial

Also on Wednesday, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked about the possibility of a Manafort pardon at a press briefing.

“The Manafort case doesn’t have anything to do with the president, doesn’t have anything to do with his campaign, and it doesn’t have anything to do with the White House,” Sanders told reporters.

When asked if she’d rule it out, Sanders said, “I’m not aware of any conversations regarding that at all.”