Paul Manafort is not exactly in the best of places right now. His home was just raided by the FBI at the instruction of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who seems intent on exposing every last one of Manafort’s various crimes in order to back him into a no-win situation. And if Manafort was hoping for any support from Donald Trump, it turns out he’s getting the opposite.
Trump himself initially seemed to be in Manafort’s corner in the hours after the FBI raid took place in late July, as he quickly took to Twitter to publicly call for the demise of the acting FBI Director. But once the raid finally became public this week, Trump was asked about it by reporters and couldn’t come up with a coherent answer. And now multiple members of Trump’s team are making a point of throwing Manafort directly under the bus.
According to the Daily Beast, one current member of the Trump White House is saying that “There is no trust between the president and Paul” while a top member of the Trump campaign is saying that Manafort was was “brought on because he can count votes. But when you’ve counted votes for some of the people he has, there’ll be plenty of material for a Bob Mueller to work with.” (link). And so under the bus Manafort goes. But this could end up backfiring on Trump himself.
It’s been revealed that Manafort was the one who told the Feds about the meeting between Donald Trump Jr and Russia, in the hope of saving his own skin. This has surely enraged Donald Trump, and we may be seeing the fallout in the above quotes. But Mueller is swiftly backing Manafort into a corner where he’ll need to flip on Trump in order to avoid the harshest of punishment. As Manafort tries to decide whether to give Trump totally up, it may not be Trump’s best move to have his team publicly throwing Manafort under the bus right now. The worse things get between Trump and Manafort, the more likely Trump goes down.
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Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report