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Paul Manafort. Photo: Mandel Ngan/Contributor/Getty Images

A lengthy text message exchange between former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and "Sean," presumed to be Fox News' Sean Hannity, was made public on Friday when court documents from the government’s sentencing recommendation for Manafort were unsealed.

Read the exchange here:

What they're saying: The text string featured legal advice, information exchange and flattery. The two discussed details of Manafort's criminal cases and Hannity’s on-air coverage and commentary that often highlighted special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.

  • In December 2017, Manafort called Hannity's “the best summary ever of the case against Mueller and his team.”

After the text exchange was made public on Friday, Hannity tweeted that: "My view of the Special Counsel investigation and the treatment of Paul Manafort were made clear every day to anyone who listens to my radio show or watches my TV show."

Go deeper: DOJ won't unseal Manafort records due to several "ongoing investigations"

Go deeper

4 hours ago - World

Biden seeks to reboot U.S. sanctions policy

Sanctions increased under Obama and dramatically under Trump. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

The Biden administration is rethinking the U.S. approach to sanctions after four years of Donald Trump imposing and escalating them.

The big picture: Sanctions are among the most powerful tools the U.S. has to influence its adversaries’ behavior without using force. But they frequently fail to bring down regimes or moderate their behavior, and they can increase the suffering of civilians and resentment of the U.S.

4 hours ago - World

Merkel's farewell spoiled by Poland crisis at EU summit

One last awkward EU "family photo." Photo: John Thys/AFP via Getty Images

Angela Merkel took up her vaunted mantle as Europe's crisis manager for what could be the last time tonight, as she urged the EU to find compromise in its showdown with Poland.

Why it matters: The European Commission has threatened to withhold over $40 billion in pandemic recovery funds after Poland's constitutional tribunal — stacked with loyalists from the ruling right-wing populist party — rejected the principle that EU law has primacy over national law.

Republicans who put it all on the line

Rep. Nancy Mace speaks with reporters after voting to hold Steve Bannon in contempt of Congress. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

A small contingent of House Republicans risked their political futures on Thursday, they say, in the name of constitutional responsibility.

Why it matters: The nine Republicans who voted to hold former Trump aide Steve Bannon in contempt of Congress are now in peril of becoming political pariahs. They've opened themselves up to potential primary challengers and public attacks from their party's kingmaker — former President Trump.