Manafort has officially left the campaign, following a week that saw the ascension of Breitbart head Stephen Bannon:
“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.”
There have been a spate of recent headlines about Manafort’s past extensive involvement with the pro-Russian regime of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, who was ousted in a 2014 revolution. While Manafort’s work for Yanukovych was already a matter of public record, new details revealed this week included allegedly undisclosed cash payments of $12.7 million, his work in funneling money to U.S. lobbyists, and even his possible involvement in a 2006 riot in Crimea against U.S. troops and NATO.
But it’s not just Manafort. Consider Trump’s own long public admiration for Vladimir Putin; his public incitement for Russian hackers to go after Hillary Clinton; and that his campaign worked to soften the GOP’s platform stance on Ukraine.