“Ukrainian prosecutors want to question Paul Manafort in connection with a corruption investigation and have made repeated requests for assistance from US authorities,” CNN reports.
“U.S. and Ukrainian authorities have expressed interest in the activities of a Kiev-based operative with suspected ties to Russian intelligence who consulted regularly with Paul Manafort last year while Manafort was running Donald Trump’s presidential campaign,” Politico reports.
“The operative, Konstantin Kilimnik, came under scrutiny from officials at the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the State Department partly because of at least two trips he took to the U.S. during the presidential campaign.”
“A purported cyber hack of the daughter of political consultant Paul Manafort suggests that he was the victim of a blackmail attempt while he was serving as Donald Trump’s presidential campaign chairman last summer,” Politico reports.
“The undated communications, which are allegedly from the iPhone of Manafort’s daughter, include a text that appears to come from a Ukrainian parliamentarian named Serhiy Leshchenko, seeking to reach her father, in which he claims to have politically damaging information about both Manafort and Trump.”
Trump campaign chairman and chief strategist Paul Manafort has resigned from the campaign, the Washington Post reports.
Donald Trump confirmed the news in a statement: “This morning Paul Manafort offered, and I accepted, his resignation from the campaign. I am very appreciative for his great work in helping to get us where we are today, and in particular his work guiding us through the delegate and convention process. Paul is a true professional and I wish him the greatest success.”
New York Times: “Handwritten ledgers show $12.7 million in undisclosed cash payments designated for Mr. Manafort from Mr. Yanukovych’s pro-Russian political party from 2007 to 2012… Investigators assert that the disbursements were part of an illegal off-the-books system whose recipients also included election officials.”
“Mr. Manafort’s involvement with moneyed interests in Russia and Ukraine had previously come to light. But as American relationships there become a rising issue in the presidential campaign — from Mr. Trump’s favorable statements about Mr. Putin and his annexation of Crimea to the suspected Russian hacking of Democrats’ emails — an examination of Mr. Manafort’s activities offers new details of how he mixed politics and business out of public view and benefited from powerful interests now under scrutiny by the new government in Kiev.”
The Atlantic: “But, particularly over the past two months, Trump’s campaign seems less like a haphazard effort, and more like a deliberate and conscious attempt to resurrect these discarded GOP tactics, recasting them for the current moment.”
“One glaring, underreported clue about the method behind the post-primary Trump madness is his selection of Paul Manafort as chair of his national campaign. Manafort’s appointment, followed by the ousting of Corey Lewandowski in June, was widely seen as a move to professionalize Trump’s disorganized campaign staff just ahead of the convention. But along with credentials earned from working with top GOP politicians… Manafort also brought decades of experience as an overseer of the Southern Strategy. Since the 1980s, Manafort’s business partners have included Charles Black, who helped launch the Senate career of outspoken segregationist Jessie Helms, and Lee Atwater, who was behind the infamously racist Willie Horton ads run by the George H. W. Bush campaign.”
“And it was Manafort who arranged for Ronald Reagan to kick off his post-convention presidential campaign at the Neshoba County Fair just outside of Philadelphia, Mississippi, where three young civil rights workers were brutally murdered in 1964.”
Trump adviser Paul Manafort told the Washington Post that Pennsylvania is “wide open,” and that if Trump wins its 20 electoral votes, his path to victory would become “a lot more varied and hers more limited.”
He added: “We can carry Michigan, we can compete in Wisconsin and win. Iowa is in play. If they think they’ve got Colorado, they’re smoking something.”
Manafort went on to describe Connecticut and Oregon — two reliably blue states — as within reach for Trump: “Those are not states that are on my front burner, but she’s going to have to put resources into those states in order to carry them.”
Donald Trump campaign adviser Paul Manafort told Bloomberg that “lawlessness” surrounding the Republican National Convention could benefit Trump.
Said Manafort: “Frankly, that impact will probably help the campaign.”
Franklin Foer: “Some saw the hiring of Manafort as desperate, as Trump reaching for a relic from the distant past in the belated hope of compensating for a haphazard campaign infrastructure. In fact, securing Manafort was a coup. He is among the most significant political operatives of the past 40 years, and one of the most effective. He has revolutionized lobbying several times over, though he self-consciously refrains from broadcasting his influence.”
“His work necessarily entails secrecy. Although his client list has included chunks of the Fortune 500, he has also built a booming business working with dictators… Manafort had a special gift for changing how dictators are beheld by American eyes. He would recast them as noble heroes—venerated by Washington think tanks, deluged with money from Congress.”
Donald Trump “is bristling at efforts to implement a more conventional presidential campaign strategy, and has expressed misgivings about the political guru behind them, Paul Manafort, for overstepping his bounds,” Politico reports.
“Now Trump is taking steps to return some authority to Manafort’s chief internal rival, campaign manager Corey Lewandowski.”
“Fixing personality negatives is a lot easier than fixing character negatives. You can’t change somebody’s character, but you can change the way a person presents himself.”
— Paul Manafort, quoted by the Washington Post, on why Donald Trump can be a viable GOP nominee.
“Donald Trump’s newly installed campaign chief sought to assure members of the Republican National Committee on Thursday night that Mr. Trump recognized the need to reshape his persona and that his campaign would begin working with the political establishment that he has scorned to great effect,” the New York Times reports.
In fact, Paul Manafort bluntly suggested the candidate’s incendiary style amounted to an act.
Said Manafort: “That’s what’s important for you to understand: That he gets it, and that the part he’s been playing is evolving. The negatives are going to come down, the image is going to change, but Clinton is still going to be crooked Hillary.”