Trump is eyeing Paul Manafort for 2024 campaign role

Trump Considers Paul Manafort for Key Role in 2024 Campaign Strategy

Donald Trump, the former president, is gearing up to bring Paul Manafort, his once-pardoned former campaign manager, back into the political arena as a campaign adviser. This move is based on information from four sources who are privy to the ongoing discussions.

The conversations have mainly revolved around the 2024 Republican convention scheduled for July in Milwaukee. It’s anticipated that Manafort’s role could extend to fundraising activities for the campaign of the expected GOP nominee. Despite the absence of a formal agreement, the sources have indicated that Trump is keen on reintegrating Manafort into his team.

Manafort’s history with Trump dates back to the 2016 election campaign, after which he faced legal troubles and was convicted for tax and bank fraud, stemming from Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation into Russian election interference. He served a prison sentence before being pardoned by Trump at the end of his presidency.

Requests for comments from a Trump campaign spokesperson and Manafort himself went unanswered.

The decision to rehire Manafort is likely to reignite discussions about Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election. Mueller’s investigation had concluded that Russia’s interference was extensive and systematic, noting that Manafort had shared internal campaign data with a contact linked to Russian intelligence.

A bipartisan Senate committee also highlighted Manafort’s interactions with Russian operatives as a significant counterintelligence threat, suggesting that his actions made the 2016 Trump campaign vulnerable to Russian influence.

Trump has expressed loyalty to Manafort, citing his prison time and continued public support. The former president frequently criticizes the Mueller investigation and maintains that Manafort was treated unfairly.

Before his legal issues, Manafort was a prominent figure in Republican politics, having served as Trump’s campaign chairman in the summer of 2016. His career was marked by his work as a lobbyist for foreign leaders and his involvement in various presidential campaigns.

Manafort’s departure from the Trump campaign was reported after it was discovered that his firm had failed to disclose its foreign lobbying efforts properly. He was later found guilty of concealing millions earned from pro-Russian Ukrainian politicians and was sentenced to prison, although he was released early due to COVID-19 before receiving a presidential pardon.

During the 2016 campaign, Manafort also allegedly shared polling data with Konstantin Kilimnik, identified by the U.S. as having ties to Russian intelligence. This, along with accusations of spreading Russian disinformation, has been a point of contention.

A 2020 Senate committee report concluded that Manafort’s involvement in the Trump campaign provided opportunities for Russian intelligence to influence and gather information on the campaign.

Prior to his political downfall, Manafort enjoyed a lavish lifestyle, owning multiple properties and spending millions on luxury items. His decision to work for Trump without a salary in 2016 was seen as an attempt to leverage his position for financial gain.

Manafort’s political career began in 1975, and he played significant roles in various Republican campaigns, including those of Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, and Robert J. Dole.

Trump’s opinion on Manafort has fluctuated over the years, ranging from distancing himself to defending and pardoning him. Following his pardon, Manafort published a book titled “Political Prisoner” and has continued to defend Trump and criticize his detractors.