Paul Manafort is having the week from hell. Not only did news of the FBI raid on his home hit media outlets all over the world, Manafort is on the front page of The National Enquirer, who alleges that Manafort had an extramarital affair with a woman half his age. Last but most assuredly not least, Donald Trump is giving Manafort the cold shoulder — and that’s putting it mildly. “I know Mr. Manafort. Haven’t spoken to him in a long time, but I know him, ” says the titular leader of the free world. Unfortunately for Donald Trump, there is lots of evidence of long standing relations between Team Trump and Manafort. The Daily Beast:
The terms “shady” and “sketchy” come up most frequently when senior veterans of Trump’s campaign discuss the earlier work done by Manafort, the campaign’s former chairman. (This is the kind of work that has in decades past included Manafort’s lobbying for some of the worst human rights abusers, killers, and dictators of the Cold War era—work Manafort did with longtime Trump consigliere Roger Stone at their well-connected K Street lobbying firm Black, Manafort, Stone, and Kelly.) What they don’t know is whether Mueller has “turned” Manafort or simply obtained information during his investigation that has led to pertinent election-meddling developments, and what—if anything—Manafort would have to offer or interest Mueller and his team.
During the presidential run, Manafort was seen by Trump and his closest aides as a “creature of convenience,” a Trump campaign veteran told The Daily Beast, who was brought in to take the reins following ousted campaign manager Corey Lewandowski’s disastrous tenure and whose experience fit with what was then a likely scenario of a contested Republican nominating convention. “There is no trust between the president and Paul [Manafort],” another West Wing official said. “There never really was any to begin with, to tell you the truth.”
Multiple sources close to the president have said that there was a growing resentment from Team Trump toward Manafort because he tried to profit off of the access and influence that he claimed to still have on the Trump administration. Specifically, top Trump officials were especially annoyed when stories began appearing online starting in April about how Manafort had reportedly told Chinese interests that he could convince the Trump administration to go along with deals related to U.S. construction contracts. “That really pissed people off,” a White House adviser told The Daily Beast.