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The shifting public face of the Trump/Manafort relationship


The shifting public face of the Trump/Manafort relationship
US news | The Guardian  /  Joanna Walters in New York

Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort departs federal court Monday after a hearing in the first charges stemming from a special counsel investigation of possible Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort departs federal court Monday after a hearing in the first charges stemming from a special counsel investigation of possible Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. Photograph: Jim Bourg/Reuters

A timeline of how Trump and his surrogates have talked about indicted former campaign manager Paul Manafort, from 'great asset' to distant acquaintance


March 2016

Paul Manafort joins the Trump presidential campaign as convention manager, tasked with securing the Republican nomination for Trump at the party's upcoming national convention in Cleveland in July. There are doubts that Trump can win enough delegate support to avoid the rare tumult of a contested convention. In a news release announcing Manafort's appointment, Trump says:

Paul is a great asset and an important addition as we consolidate the tremendous support we have received… Paul Manafort, and the team I am building, bring the needed skill sets to ensure that the will of the Republican voters, not the Washington political establishment, determines who will be the nominee for the Republican Party.

Early April 2016

Trump expands Manafort's role in wrangling delegate support ahead of the GOP convention and expanding outreach in Washington.

Trump says:

I am organizing these responsibilities under someone who has done this job successfully in many campaigns. Paul is a well-respected expert in this regard and we are pleased to have him join the efforts to Make America Great Again.

Late April 2016

Trump pushes back against Manafort's reported efforts to reassure the Republican establishment that Trump's speeches were going to be more presidential in future and he was "evolving" and likely to tone down his inflammatory language at rallies. In a speech in Connecticut, he tells the Associated Press:

Paul was down in Florida and he said, 'You know, Donald might be changing a little bit over a period of time and he – maybe he'll tone it down, maybe he won't, but who knows what happens?'… I sort of don't like toning it down.

June 2016

Just after being fired, campaign manager Corey Lewandowski says: "Paul Manafort has been in operational control of the campaign since April 7. That's a fact."

July 2016

Candidate Trump is officially anointed as the GOP candidate for president at the party's convention, having secured the support of enough delegates back in May to sweep him to victory. After the convention, speaking in Cleveland, Trump thanks Manafort, who by now is campaign chairman and chief strategist. Trump calls out to him and other campaign staff from the stage, saying:

I want to thank the entire group. We really beefed it up because we are really now in the final stretch, three and a half months to go, and Paul Manafort has done an amazing job. He has done a fantastic … and all of Paul's people. Paul brought on his staff.

August 16 2016

Reports are ramping up that Manafort had previously received secret cash payments when he was a business consultant, from former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych, who had strong times to the Kremlin. Vice-presidential candidate Mike Pence defends Manafort in an interview with Fox, but with a strong caveat:

I think Paul Manafort has dismissed that as completely false and inaccurate and I accept him at his word…The truth is Mr Manafort is involved in our campaign, but he's not running for president.

August 19 2016

Manafort resigns. Trump says: "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."

October 2016

Reports emerge that federal investigators are looking into Manafort's Russian dealings. Trump campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks says:

Mr Trump severed ties with Mr Manafort many months ago. Mr Trump has no knowledge of any of his past or present activities.

March 2017

Sean Spicer, President Donald Trump's then-press secretary, distances the White House from Manafort, amid accusations that Manafort had, effectively, been paid to perform international public relations for Vladimir Putin.

Spicer says: "The president was not aware of Paul's clients from the last decade," adding: "He was hired to count delegates."

August 2017

Trump responds to news that the FBI had carried out an early-morning raid on one of Manafort's residences in July and taken away boxes of tax and banking records, calling the raid: "Pretty tough stuff" and worrying that the agents may have woken Manafort up. But he talks as if Manafort was a distant acquaintance, not the man he credited with sewing up his presidential nomination. He says:

I know Mr. Manafort. I haven't spoken to him in a long time, but I know him. He was with the campaign, as you know, for a very short period of time – relatively short period of time. But I've always known him to be a good man.

October 2017

Manafort turns himself in to face federal charges. Trump tweets of his former campaign chief's alleged wrongdoing: "Sorry, but this is years ago, before Paul Manafort was part of the Trump campaign. But why aren't Crooked Hillary & the Dems the focus?????"

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabeen Sanders says: "Paul Manafort was brought in to lead the delegate process, which he did, and was dismissed not too long after that."



Original Article: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/oct/31/trump-manafort-relationship-timeline

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