Trump goes to Alabama after deadly tornadoes

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10:09 a.m. ET, March 8, 2019

Trump says he feels "very badly" for Manafort and insists Cohen lied about the pardon

On his way to Alabama to tour tornado damage, President Trump talked to reporters about Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen.

The President said he felt "very badly" for Manafort, his former campaign chair who was sentenced yesterday to 47 months in prison for financial fraud convictions obtained by special counsel Robert Mueller.

"I think it has been a very tough time for him," Trump said.

The President also repeated the false claim that the judge said there was no collusion with Russia. (The judge only said that collusion wasn’t an issue for him to consider in the case. He did not assess whether it happens or not.)

Trump also said that Cohen, his former personal attorney, lied when he told Congress there were talks about a possible pardon.

"Michael Cohen lied about the pardon. It was a stone-cold lie. He has lied about a lot of things. but when he lied about the pardon — that was really a lie," Trump said.
10:05 a.m. ET, March 8, 2019

Here's what Trump said about the surprisingly low job numbers just now

From CNN's Maegan Vazquez

President Trump spoke about the new jobs report and touted the country’s unemployment rate ahead of his trip to Alabama just now.

Asked if 20,000 jobs was good enough for him, Trump said it was “a step.”

“I think you’ll probably find out it averages out,” he added.

Trump touted growing wages, low unemployment and the stock market. 

“I think the big news really was that wage growth is up. And that’s great for the American worker,” Trump said.

On the stock market, Trump said, “Certainly since my election it’s up, getting close to 50%.”

The unemployment rate fell to 3.8%, but the surprisingly low jobs numbers bucked the trend of huge job gains.

10:02 a.m. ET, March 8, 2019

Trump: "We'll be working very hard" in Alabama

President Trump briefly spoke with reporters before departing for Alabama, which suffered devastating tornadoes this past week.

“The people of Alabama, they got hit very hard by the tornadoes," Trump said. "We are going to do a lot of work. We'll be working very hard."

He will meet with Gov. Kay Ivey during the visit, before continuing on to Florida.

8:34 a.m. ET, March 8, 2019

Trump is heading to Alabama today

From CNN's Madison Park

Photo by Tom Brenner/Getty Images
Photo by Tom Brenner/Getty Images

President Donald Trump will visit Alabama on Friday, after several tornadoes devastated parts of the state earlier this week, killing 23 people.

He will travel mid-day to Lee County, which suffered the brunt of the damage.

"It's a tragic situation, but a lot of work is getting done," Trump had said earlier this week.

Many in Alabama are still digging through the rubble and mourning the deaths after 12 tornadoes struck the state on Sunday. About 30 tornadoes hammered the Southeast that day, said Chris Darden of the National Weather Service office in Birmingham.