The White House and Republicans are spinning hard, claiming that Paul Manafort had a “limited” role in Trump’s campaign before he resigned amid a pro-Russian money scandal. This phrase is all over cable news right now, but it’s not accurate.
According to the number of days that each one of them worked, Paul Manafort worked longer for the campaign than Steve Bannon and Kelly Conway. According to publicly available information:
Steve Bannon worked on the campaign from 8/17 to 11/8 – 83 days.
Kellyanne Conway worked on the campaign from 7/1 to 11/8 – 130 days.
Paul Manafort worked on the campaign from 3/29 to 8/19 – 143 days.
143 days is longer than 83 days. And also longer than 130 days, even in alternative fact world.
Former Obama White House Deputy Secretary of Labor and Cabinet Secretary Chris Lu pointed this out Monday morning:
Just a reminder: Manafort worked for Trump campaign longer than either Conway or Bannon. It was not a "limited role" https://t.co/rIBKpK10YC
— Chris Lu (@ChrisLu44) October 30, 2017
The Daily Beast reported in November of 2016 that Manafort, whom they described as the “former lobbyist for some of the worst dictators and killers of the 20th century” who “is operating in the shadows these days” was advising Trump on Cabinet picks:
According to two sources with knowledge of the Trump presidential transition process, Manafort—whose formal association with the president-elect ended in August—is heavily involved with the staffing of the nascent administration.
Fortune debunked this in March:
Manafort did not play a “limited role” in the campaign. He was involved with the campaign for five months, serving as campaign chairman for three of those months until he resigned. Moreover, his roles in the campaign, particularly Convention Manager, were crucial, and arguably prevented a derailing of Trump’s nomination through a floor fight at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.
Donald Trump himself acknowledged Manafort’s key part in his campaign, saying upon Manafort’s resignation, “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,” he added. “Paul is a true professional and I wish him the greatest success.”
Furthermore, 2016 and 2017 are mentioned in the indictment, so the idea that this all happened years before he was involved with the Trump campaign not only isn’t accurate, but it’s also as if Trump thinks it’s okay to have hired criminals to lead his campaign, so long as they were not at that very moment committing crimes.
Trump is trying to say no collusion was proven. However, collusion is not a criminal term – conspiracy is, and conspiracy was covered in the Manafort indictment.
Additionally, it was reported today that Trump adviser George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to making false statements that directly relate to the Trump Russia probe. “The special counsel said Papadopoulos told FBI agents he had been in contact with an unnamed foreign ‘professor’ who claimed to have “dirt” on Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in the form of ‘thousands of emails,’ and that Papadopolous claimed such contacts occurred before he joined Trump’s campaign.
However, the prosecutor said Papadopolous in fact did not meet the professor until after he joined Trump’s campaign,” Reuters reported.
The notion that Manafort had limited involvement in the Trump campaign is not true. He played a pivotal role in Donald Trump even getting the Republican nomination.