Tag: Paul Manafort

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America serve up all crazy martinis Tuesday. They begin with a report from the UK Guardian newspaper that Paul Manafort met multiple times with Julian Assange in London, including early 2016 when Manafort was about to become chairman for the Trump campaign. They also get a kick out of Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke abandoning his pledge never to run for president in 2020 just three weeks after making it. And they wonder whether taxpayers will wind up on the hook again as President Trump tries to stop General Motors from shuttering five plants and laying off thousands of workers in the U.S.

Breaking: Manafort Found Guilty on 8 of 18 Counts, Cohen Pleads Guilty to 8 Counts

 

Paul Manafort, the former campaign chairman for candidate Donald Trump, was facing 18 criminal counts. The jury found him guilty on eight of the counts, which included five counts of tax fraud, two counts of bank fraud, and one count of failure to disclose a foreign bank account. The jury said that they could not reach consensus on 10 of the counts, so those were declared a mistrial.

At about the same time the Manafort verdict came in, Trump’s former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, pleaded guilty to eight counts. He admitted that he paid a pornographic actress for her silence during the 2016 presidential campaign and pleaded guilty to multiple charges of bank and tax fraud.

There’s More Than One Kind Of Corruption

 

When people think of corruption in high places, they tend to think of elites feathering their own nests. Bill and Hillary Clinton monetized political power into a personal fortune of hundreds of millions, and played the system better than any couple since Napoleon and Josephine. Paul Manafort is alleged to have sold his services to sketchy foreign powers (including a Putin puppet in Ukraine), pocketed multiple millions, evaded American taxes, and according to evidence presented in his trial, spent up to a million dollars on cashmere suits and ostrich jackets (being rich doesn’t mean having taste).

President Trump is defending his former campaign chairman: “Paul Manafort worked for Ronald Reagan, Bob Dole and many other highly prominent and respected political leaders. He worked for me for a very short time. Why didn’t government tell me that he was under investigation. These old charges have nothing to do with Collusion – a Hoax!” The president might answer a few questions too. Why didn’t he do any background investigation of Manafort? His career representing tainted foreign leaders like Ferdinand Marcos and Jonas Savimbi was public knowledge. Allegations that he received off-the-books payments from overseas interests were also only a click away. In 2016, Manafort flatly denied the allegations: “The simplest answer is the truth: I am a campaign professional. . . .I have never received a single ‘off-the-books cash payment’ as falsely ‘reported’ by The New York Times, nor have I ever done work for the governments of Ukraine or Russia.” That didn’t age well.

Another question for President Trump: Didn’t it strike him as odd that a man of Manafort’s tastes and lifestyle would agree to work for Trump (supposedly a billionaire) for free? Didn’t he pause and reflect, “Hmm, I wonder what he expects to get out of this, and from whom?”

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Chad Benson of Radio America are glad Facebook has uncovered and eliminated coordinated activity involving fake accounts that promote fringe political movements on both the far right and far left, thus debunking the idea that Russia wants to elect Republicans. They also fail to see why President Donald Trump keeps sticking his neck out for Paul Manafort, since the charges are separate from the Russia collusion investigation. And they discuss former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz’ potential partnership with former John McCain presidential campaign adviser Steve Schmidt to mount a 2020 presidential run.

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America welcome the retirement of Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch and give him credit for the things he’s done well, and while they like Mitt Romney, they wonder if Utah is missing out on a younger and more conservative replacement for Hatch. They also slam President Trump for his childish tweet about having a bigger nuclear button than Kim Jong-Un. And they react to Steve Bannon unloading on his former White House rivals and accusing Donald Trump, Jr., Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort of treason.

Update: Since this recording, Trump has responded to Bannon. “Steve Bannon has nothing to do with me or my Presidency. When he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind.” Trump also accuses Bannon of leaking extensively during his time in office.

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America react to the indictments of Paul Manafort and Rick Gates and note that none of the charges appear to be connect to the Trump campaign. They also discuss the guilty plea from former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos on charges of making false statements. And they are aghast as a new ad from the Latino Victory Fund paints anyone who supports the GOP candidate for governor in Virginia as racists who want to kill minority children.

It’s “Indictment Week” in Washington, and Paula Reid of CBS News updates the story.

Are conservatives surrendering the Grand Old Party to the populists without even a fight? The Weekly Standard’s Steve Hayes says “yes.”

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America enjoy watching Nancy Pelosi get drowned out by amnesty activists who think she and Chuck Schumer are not doing enough for people who are in the U.S. illegally. They also discuss the revelation that the feds did in fact wiretap former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort before and after the 2016 election. And they have no problem with President Trump referring to Kim Jong-Un as “Rocket Man,” given that decades of professional diplomatic statements have achieved so little.

Member Post

 

Have you all heard about Trump, Jr. and Kushner meeting with a Russian lawyer to get information on Clinton? It doesn’t seem all that incriminating to me. It just looks like they were trying to find dirt on her to fight against her in the election. Maybe I am wrong. Preview Open

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America celebrate the liberation of Mosul from ISIS control and the tightening of the noose around ISIS in Syria as well. They also discuss reports that former FBI Director James Comey’s memos on conversations with President Trump contain classified information. And they lightheartedly critique Donald Trump Jr.’s account of a fruitless meeting between top Trump campaign officials and a Russian lawyer who claimed to have dirt on Hillary Clinton but really wanted to talk about adoption policy.

Manaford Down, Bannon and Conway Up

 

Via the WSJ:

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is bringing two new managers to the top of his campaign in a bid to recover ground he has lost in recent weeks. Stephen Bannon, executive chairman of Breitbart News LLC, an outspoken Trump supporter and a former Goldman Sachs banker, will assume the new position of campaign chief executive. At the same time, Mr. Trump also is promoting Kellyanne Conway, a veteran GOP pollster and strategist, to become campaign manager. Ms. Conway has been a campaign adviser for several weeks. Longtime Republican operative Paul Manafort, who joined the campaign late in the primary season, remains campaign chairman. But the reset is designed to bulk up a structure that many Republicans have complained wasn’t adequate for the rigors of the general-election campaign.