Who Is Paul Manafort?

Paul Manafort
Paul Manafort (Source: AP Photo)

Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort was indicted this week on several serious felonies in connection with Russia’s manipulation of our democratic processes to benefit Trump and harm his opponent Hillary Clinton.

Manafort, 64, was born in New Britain, Conn. His grandfather, James A. Manafort, immigrated from Italy in 1907. James founded the construction company New Britain House Wrecking Company. It was later renamed Manafort Brothers Inc. in 1947. Paul was named after his father, a World War II veteran and the mayor of New Britain from 1965 to 1971.

New Britain is about a 2-hour drive from New York City.

Before Manafort started his long career working for strongmen and thugs, he corralled delegates for the Republican party.

In 1976, Manafort worked for President Ford as a delegate hunter in eight states. Between 1978 and 1980, he worked for the Ronald Reagan campaign and Manafort was a deputy political director for the Republican National Committee. Manafort also worked as a political advisor for the George H.W. Bush and Bob Dole presidential campaigns.

But it’s Manafort’s lobbying career that made him his millions. In 1980, Manafort and Roger Stone and Charles Black, Jr. started Black, Manafort & Stone. Manafort worked for that firm until 1996 when he joined Richard Davis and Matthew Freedman to form Davis, Manafort and Freedman.

As an aside, Roger Stone was recently, permanently banned from Twitter for, among other things, calling CNN New Anchor Don Lemon a cocksucker on the social networking platform.

As a lobbyist, Manafort’s clients included, Philippines Ferdinand Marcos when he was the president of the Phillipines, Mobutu Sese Seko of Za├»re, and the governments of Dominican Republic, Equatorial Guinea and Kenya. These clients made Manafort’s firm one of the top five lobbying firms receiving money from human-rights abusing regimes in the Center for Public Integrity report “The Torturer’s Lobby.”

In the mid-1990s, Manafort was caught up in the so-called Karachi Affair. For work Manafort did with Edouard Balladur in the 1995 French elections, approximately $200,000, Manafort wasn’t paid directly. For some reason, he was paid through a friend, Lebanese arms-dealer Abdul Rahman al-Assir, using middle-men fees paid for by arranging the sale of three French Agosta-class submarines to Pakistan. That’s the Karachi Affair.

In the 1990s, Manafort was paid $700,000 for work in Pakistan intelligence to spread disinformation about the threat of terrorism in the country. For this job, Manafort pretended to by a CNN reporter and interviewed three Indian government officials.

In the late 1980s, Manafort ran some sort of HUD scam that netted him more than $300,000.

It was 2004 when Manafort started working for Russian President Vladimir Putin. Manafort was a political advisor for Putin’s buddy Viktor Yanukovych. The United States government opposed Yankovych because of his close ties to Putin, but that didn’t stop Manafort from advising him.

From there, Manafort got deeper and deeper in with with Russian oligarchs. In addition to some real estate deals, Manafort was awarded a $10 million annual contract with Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska to promote Russian interests in Europe and the United States. That was in 2005.

Over the years, millions of dollars has flowed in and out of Manafort’s hands via shady banks and questionable financial transactions. Some reports show that when Manafort took the job as chairman of the Trump campaign, he was $17 million in debt to Russian oligarchs.

In February, hacked text messages from Manafort’s daughters’ phone appear to show that his daughters believe their father was implicated in murders while working in Ukraine, according to Politico story.

The hacked text messages from his daughters’ phones show that at least one believes her father was involved in the death of demonstrators in Ukraine. In one messages his daughter writes that his “strategy that was to cause that (2014 Hrushevskoho Street riots), to send those people out and get them slaughtered”

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