Thursday, November 2, 2017

Why did Manafort work for Trump, anyway?

Back to doing lots of work for school. Strangely, this means I mostly post here at night now.

And here's your evening Trump news:

Talking Points Memo - why did Manafort work for Trump? We need to ask, because he's not the type of person to work for free:

It was an extremely bad idea for Paul Manafort to get involved in a presidential campaign on the way to the nomination when he was sitting atop so much dirty laundry.

Unless of course, he had no choice.

This is not simply a nasty comment. Even based on what is publicly known, what was publicly known a year ago, that Manafort has been involved in highly questionable foreign representation for decades and a lot of financial transactions that look like money laundering. As I said last night about President Trump, lots of people slip through for years or decades without getting in trouble for their financial crimes. Some never get caught. Going to the white hot center of the US political process is a really good way to get caught.

Why would Manafort do that?

One plausible explanation is simple hubris. Arrogance makes people stupid. But there are other indications that Manafort needed money, that he was overextended and desperate. But he, quite conspicuously, worked for Trump for free.

That’s odd. Because there’s nothing about Paul Manafort and his forty years in the US political world that suggests he works cheap or for free. But a salary is not the only way or even the primary way someone like Manafort could restore himself financially through getting tight with Donald Trump. The big pay off would be in the influence he would gain and the money he could make off the work – either re-juiced for the US political game or to get the big money in Russia or the Ukraine with his influence batteries recharged. We know about exchanges Manafort had with colleagues speculating about how he could ‘make himself whole’ based on the newfound celebrity, particularly in the former Soviet sphere.

After Manafort sealed his arrangement with Trump, he asked his Ukrainian fixer Konstanin Kilimnik to pass on word to top Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska that he could provide briefings on the campaign if Deripaska would find that helpful. Manafort and Deripaska had a longstanding business relationship. Manafort also asked Kilimnik “How do we use [this] to get whole?” In other words, can do we use working for Trump to recoup their finances.

And so on....


  1. Maybe he knew he was likely to end up in the joint and figured Trump would pardon him, getting him off the hook for all of it.

  2. At the time no one wanted to work for Trump. Manafort was a bad pick but he was a highly connected guy. If you actually read the indictments and not the shitty media articles most seem to be getting their understanding from, Manafort is being indicted for essentially laundering money for a political party in the Ukraine which was essentially a Russian government front. The party disbanded and he was living a lavish lifestyle of money laundered in the Ukraine/Russia which he hadn't been paying taxes on. The indictment only goes up until the year 2014 I believe, long before he was connected to Trump.

    You should read the actual documentation.