I woke up to pretty amazing news this morning. Paul Manafort, Trump’s Campaign Manager-cum-We Don’t Remember That Guy’s Name, is the apparent mastermind behind a decade-long plot to weaken Western democracy and infiltrate the US government. More here. It’s clear someone dumped a huge file on AP’s desk on purpose. This much detailed info does not magically appear overnight, no matter how persistent reporters are.
A few thoughts:
1) Holy Shit, he was working on this during Bush?
“Manafort told Deripaska in 2005 that he was pushing policies as part of his work in Ukraine “at the highest levels of the U.S. government — the White House, Capitol Hill and the State Department,” according to the documents. He also said he had hired a “leading international law firm with close ties to President Bush to support our client’s interests,” but he did not identify the firm. Manafort also said he was employing unidentified legal experts for the effort at leading universities and think tanks, including Duke University, New York University and the Center for Strategic and International Studies.”
2) Gates, Manafort’s partner, is deep in the Trump circle.
“Manafort’s former business partner in eastern Europe, Rick Gates, has been seen inside the White House on a number of occasions. Gates has since helped plan Trump’s inauguration and now runs a nonprofit organization, America First Policies, to back the White House agenda.”
3) Journalists, eh? Can we guess which ones?
“In strategy memos, Manafort proposed that Deripaska and Putin would benefit from lobbying Western governments, especially the U.S., to allow oligarchs to keep possession of formerly state-owned assets in Ukraine. He proposed building “long term relationships” with Western journalists and a variety of measures to improve recruitment, communications and financial planning by pro-Russian parties in the region.”
4) Davis, another partner, denies knowing anything, but then goes to work for John McCain’s campaign.
“Davis said he believes Manafort used his name without his permission on the strategy memo. “My name was on every piece of stationery used by the company and in every memo prior to 2006. It does not mean I had anything to do with the memo described,” Davis said. He took a leave of absence from the firm in late 2006 to work on John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign.”
5) Quid. Pro. Quo. Manafort cheats his benefactor. Manafort starts working for Trump’s campaign for FREE to ensure he wins the RNC nomination. Benefactor stops being annoyed by this after Trump gets into office.
“Early in the 2016 presidential campaign, Deripaska’s representatives openly accused Manafort of fraud and pledged to recover the money from him. After Trump earned the nomination, Deripaska’s representatives said they would no longer discuss the case.”