June 13, 2016

When Paul Manafort joined Trump's motley crew of campaign staffers in late March of this year, many saw him lending much-needed structure and professionalism to this candidate. Manafort, the son of a three-term New Britain, Connecticut mayor, boasts a hefty résumé as a consultant to or lobbyist for controversial foreign leaders and oligarchs with unsavory reputations.

Mr. Manafort knows exactly what has made his client popular, the same attribute that troubles the Republican establishment. Manafort

says the problem isn't that Trump goes "off script. First of all, the script is his, so he can't go off-script," he says. "Secondly, what he's going off of is what the conventional pundits want him to do. But if the conventional pundits had been followed, he wouldn't be the nominee of the party. So there's no reason to start listening to them now."

Manafort followed Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan on This Week, where he had to defend the nominee, once again.

RYAN: I do think, hope, and believe, that he's going to improve the tenor of the campaign, the tone of the campaign, the kind of campaign that he's going to run.

The host asked what he thought of Speaker Ryan's claim that Trump will tone it down and stick to the script. Although the two share policy similarities, there's a fundamental disparity between the two. That disparity is what makes Trump a success.

MANAFORT: But that's where there's some bit of a personality rub. I mean, Trump is willing to not accept the status quo in Washington. He's saying we have to change the status quo in Washington.

Mr. Manafort believes that those in the #NeverTrump movement are in the minority and he feels that they are just bitter and don't represent the will of most Republicans. Stephanopoulos reminded him of the dissent among the party's elite, and the meeting convened by Romney this weekend.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Mitt Romney...says his heart is breaking watching Donald Trump lead the GOP. You had Meg Whitman at the same conference comparing Donald Trump to Mussolini and Hitler.

The familiar tone of his boss is echoed here:

MANAFORT: Well, I think they're sitting in their cocoon, you know, away from the reality of the world. I mean, Donald Trump is none of those things. And this is sore losers.

You know, Romney wanted to run, chose not to. He's now attacking this past weekend all the other Republican who ran for president as well saying they should have done a better job. Well, if he feels that way he should have run. He was a coward.

The remainder of the sit-down contained defense of his mocking of Serge Kovaleski of the NY Times and his recent Judge Curiel controversy. They play the ad launched by a pro-Clinton PAC showing the worst moments of the campaign, moments that would be fatal to anyone else, but Manafort seemed unphased. When asked if any Trump apologies would be forthcoming, several times he said,

He's already dealt with that issue. He's dismissed it.

Apparently, that's all the campaign needs to do to appease those he offended. Likely, it's good enough for the GOP.

Manafort has had business ties to Trump since the mid 1980's and shares some less-than-savory commonalities with the Talking Yam, including some possible ties to the Mob. The Courant reports:

...the Manaforts are best known for their construction business. Starting in 1919 as a demolition operation and a lumber yard, the company grew in the second generation after four brothers renamed it in 1947 as Manafort Brothers Inc. The extended family of Italian immigrants is now a fourth-generation powerhouse in construction.

In addition to the family's ties to the mob-run construction business, Manafort has a history of profiting off the very suspicious business activities of infamous figures like Ferdinand Marcos and Ukrainian Viktor Yanukovych.

His work in Ukraine sparked a decision not to bring him on board as John McCain’s convention manager in 2008, according to people close to the McCain campaign.

Paul Manafort's corruption was once considered a negative in the Republican Party, but the acceptance of someone as ruthless and morally bankrupt as he is portends to a dark and frightening future for the GOP. Trump and Manafort personify a party that values depravity, greed, character assassination and shady financial practices. Obviously, they have tapped into the id of their party's base.

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