The defense has tried to blame Manafort's financial mistakes on his former assistant, Richard Gates. Calk never got the job, but the exchange appears to indicate that Manafort continued to make contact with members of Trump's inner circle - even after he left the campaign in August 2016 amid intense public scrutiny over his shady global lobbying work on behalf of pro-Russian interests in Ukraine.
Prosecutors called 27 witnesses to the stand during their case since July 31, including Manafort's long-time right-hand man, Rick Gates, who pleaded guilty and is cooperating with the government.
The defense attorneys' decision means that the closely watched case is expected to go to the 12-person jury on Wednesday, after prosecutors and Manafort's lawyers make their closing arguments and instructions are issued to the jury.
The last three days of trial have been dominated by closed-door meetings between the judge and lawyers for both sides, the subject of which remains unknown.
Manafort's prosecution by special counsel Robert Mueller is the first to emerge from his investigation into Russia's meddling in the 2016 elections.
It was also alleged at trial in Alexandria, Va., that Manafort, in November 2016, passed on to Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner the name of the chairman of Federal Savings Bank executive for consideration for a post in the administration. When it resumed, he asked whether they had a defense to present.
Manafort's legal team elected not to call him as a witness in his own defense.
Manafort looked at the jury as his lead attorney, Kevin Downing, said they wouldn't present any evidence.
The decision by the defense to rest Tuesday came a day after prosecutors concluded their financial fraud and tax evasion case against Manafort on Monday.
Manafort made the comments during a brief questioning Tuesday.
Still, the proceedings have drawn President Donald Trump's attention - and tweets - as he works to undermine the standing of the Mueller investigation in the public square. Gates struck a plea deal with prosecutors and has provided much of the drama of the trial so far.
Trump, who has repeatedly denied colluding with Russian Federation, has tried to downplay Manafort's influence on his campaign, although he has said on more than one occasion he thinks the longtime Republican operative has been treated unfairly by authorities. During testimony, Gates was forced to admit embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from Manafort and conducting an extramarital affair.