In the years I spent in Africa working for Associated Press I knew at least two of the most vicious leaders I traveled with had a Washington lobbyist.
That man, who worked for Zairean dictator Mose Sese Seko and Angolan rebel Jonas Savimbi, turned out to be Paul Manafort.
I was stunned to find this same man is now working for Donald Trump.
“The list of questionable characters, shady lawsuits, and international scandals he has been involved in would require at minimum a few day’s worth of non-stop reading, and we here at Paste Magazine realize that our readers have actual lives outside of the internet. What’s really amazing is that all of this information is readily available online if one only makes the arduous effort to enter “Paul Manafort” into a Google search. This is a man whose firm was prominently featured in the report “The Torturer’s Lobby,” by the Center for Public Integrity, and whose name appears no fewer than forty times in the investigation. This is a man who is quoted in a federal hearing as arguing, “You might call it influence-peddling. I call it lobbying,” while attempting to defend himself during a federal investigation into a $43 million scam involving the Department of Housing and Urban Development,” Paste reported. MSNBC said Manafort is not being paid.
Manafort also worked for Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
As a young Republican he had worked for Presidents Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan.
But the latest news getting attention makes all this seem petty.
The New York Times has reported that it is possible Manafort got $12.7 billion while working for ousted Ukrainian dictator Victor Yanukovych, who fled to Russia where he is sheltered by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Putin, Manafort and Trump have what some call a love affair because the Russian hates Hillary Clinton.
The Ukrainian government that replaced Yanukovch, and found his burned and scorched data files in a swimming pool, says it is still investigating.
“A spokeswoman for the anti-corruption bureau, Darya Manzhura, said Monday that payments to Manafort were listed in a ledger recovered from the headquarters of Yanukovych’s political party, the Party of Regions. Investigators did not specify the reason the money was designated for Manafort from 2007 to 2012,” the Washington Post was told.
“The anti-corruption bureau cannot make indictments but must pass on any evidence to prosecutors, who can decide whether to file charges. Manzhura said that processing the list will take a long time, as will matching signatures to individuals and proving that money actually changed hands,” she said. Manafort is not the priority, so he may get a pass.
For investigators, she said, Manafort is not the priority.
Paste said: “Even more shocking is Manafort has been the subject of almost no scrutiny from the mainstream US media. On the contrary, his hiring was seen as a victory for Trump, that a man so successful and embedded in the GOP establishment would be willing to work for an “outsider” such as Trump. In reality, it shouldn’t be the least bit surprising that a man known for his willingness to work with anyone, no matter how brutal and corrupt, would decide to work for Donald Trump, known for his failure to pay bills, his praise of questionable world leaders such as Saddam Hussein and Vladimir Putin, and general fascist tendencies such as banning numerous journalists from events and certain religions from our nation. With the recent DNC hack being linked to Russia, and with Russia becoming increasingly more aggressive towards US positions in Syria, this is a man whose Russian ties should at a minimum raise a few alarm flags.
“Ultimately the real concerning issue is that no one seems to know, or even worse, care, just exactly what Paul Manafort’s end game is.”
Vice President Joe Biden today said on national television that Trump “would have loved Stalin.”