Donald Trump’s campaign chairman Paul Manafort, hired in April because someone decided they needed an adult in the office, has resigned amidst incredibly damning reports of his sketchy political work in the Ukraine.
Manafort has been around the GOP a long time; he’s also been in Russia, where, as the Associated Press reports, he was part of coordinating a “covert Washington lobbying operation” to make American politicians sympathetic to the pro-Russian government installed in the Ukraine. It was apparently a lucrative business; secret ledgers listed Manafort as receiving over $12 million in cash payments between 2007 and 2012 from the Party of Regions, the pro-Russian party of deposed Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.
Making tyrants look sympathetic is a cornerstone of Manafort’s career; installing a burbling ochre reality TV baby into the highest office in the United States should’ve been a snap. But the persistent reporting on his Ukraine ties weakened his position in the campaign the Washington Post says, along with Trump hiring two new staffers: former Breitbart executive Stephen K. Bannon and GOP pollster Kellyanne Conway.
Trump confirmed Manafort’s departure in a statement so bland someone else definitely wrote it:
“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.”
Manafort is reportedly leaving the campaign on “good terms,” per the Post, and “will remain an ally and outside confidant of the campaign.” Birds of a feather, etc. The real question here is how much worse Trump will manage to do with his next hire, since there is evidently no bottom floor to this nightmare elevator we’re all riding directly to Hell.