Report: Man Trump Pardoned Could Help Run Convention

Sources say Trump wants to get former campaign chairman Paul Manafort on board for 2024
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 18, 2024 5:37 PM CDT
Report: Manafort Could Help Run GOP Convention
In this May 23, 2018, photo, Paul Manafort leaves the Federal District Court after a hearing in Washington.   (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Paul Manafort, who was chair of Donald Trump's 2016 campaign for a few months but was in prison or under house arrest throughout the former president's 2020 run, might have a big role to play in 2024, insiders say.

  • Trump "determined" to bring him back. The Washington Post, citing "four people familiar with the talks," reports that Trump plans to hire Manafort as a campaign adviser, with possible roles in fundraising and at the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee in July. The sources "described the hiring as expected and said Trump was determined to bring Manafort back into the fold," the Post reports.

  • Talks have been underway for months. The New York Times reports that sources say talks to have Manafort help run the convention have been underway for months, but his exact role has not been decided.
  • The background. Manafort, 74, has been involved with Republican presidential campaigns since Gerald Ford's in 1976. In August 2016, he stepped down from Trump's campaign amid controversy over his financial ties to pro-Russia politicians in Ukraine, CNN reports. In 2019, he was sentenced to 7.5 years for crimes including fraud, but he was transferred to house arrest in the early months of the pandemic and pardoned by Trump in December 2020.
  • Russian ties. Manafort was indicted in connection with special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation and a bipartisan Senate committee later found that he had made Trump's 2016 campaign susceptible to "malign Russian influence," per the Post reports. "Manafort's presence on the Campaign and proximity to Trump created opportunities for Russian intelligence services to exert influence over, and acquire confidential information on, the Trump Campaign," the committee said.
  • Praise from Trump. Insiders say Trump wants to reward Manafort for his loyalty. "Unlike Michael Cohen, he refused to 'break'—make up stories in order to get a 'deal,'" Trump tweeted in 2018. "Such respect for a brave man!"
(More Paul Manafort stories.)

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