Before joining Donald Trump’s team in summer 2016, Paul Manafort had worked on a number of Republican presidential campaigns, including those of Gerald Ford in the mid-1970s and Ronald Reagan from 1978 to 1980.
As a lobbyist, Paul Manafort developed a reputation for representing the unrepresentable, including former Philippine strongman Ferdinand Marcos, who was accused of torturing, abducting and killing thousands of opponents.
Paul Manafort took over as chairman of the Trump campaign in May 2016 and aimed to present a more thoughtful candidate, who stuck to scripts instead of ad-libbing in campaign rallies. He was in the hot seat when Donald Trump eventually won the Republican nomination, and organized the Republican convention in July 2016.
However, he quickly faced allegations that he had not disclosed millions of dollars he received for consultancy work he carried out in Ukraine for its then pro-Russian president. At the same time, the Republican Party changed the language in its manifesto regarding the conflict in Ukraine, removing anti-Russian sentiment.
Paul Manafort quit Donald Trump’s team in August 2016.
Paul Manafort is one of a number of the presidential associates currently under scrutiny for possible contacts with Russia during the US presidential campaign.
Image source Getty
On March 20, FBI director James Comey confirmed for the first time that his agency was investigating alleged Russian interference in the election.
On March 21, Serhiy Leshchenko, a former investigative journalist, published an invoice purportedly signed by Paul Manafort that showed a $750,000 payment for a shipment of computers to a company called Davis Manafort.
The funds came from an offshore company in Belize via a bank in Kyrgyzstan.
Serhiy Leshchenko said the contract was a cover for payments to Paul Manafort for his consulting services to Viktor Yanukovych’s Party of Regions.
The lawmaker said the amount and date of the payment matched one of the entries on the so-called Black Ledgers (handwritten accounting books alleged to belong to the Party of Regions), where Paul Manafort’s name was mentioned.
Paul Manafort’s spokesman Jason Maloni described the latest allegations as “baseless”, saying they should be “summarily dismissed”.
President Viktor Yanukovych was ousted during mass street protests in Ukraine in 2014.
However, Jeff Sessions has removed himself from an FBI probe into alleged Russian meddling in the US election.
The Democrats have maintained their attacks on Jeff Sessions, saying his explanation regarding his contacts with the Russian ambassador in 2016 were “simply not credible”.
Donald Trump said the Democrats had “lost the election and now they have lost their grip on reality”.
The Trump campaign was dogged by allegations that some of his team had met with Russian officials and that Moscow had interfered in the election on his behalf. Donald Trump has branded the allegations “fake news”.
Image source Flickr
It stems from Jeff Sessions’ comments at his confirmation hearing in January.
He was asked: “If there is any evidence that anyone affiliated with the Trump campaign communicated with the Russian government, in the course of this campaign, what will you do?”
Jeff Sessions responded: “I’m not aware of any of those activities. I have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign and I did not have communications with the Russians. And I’m unable to comment on it.”
Jeff Sessions was at the time a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. However, he was already a prominent member of Donald Trump’s campaign team.
The former Alabama senator also had meetings with more than 25 foreign ambassadors in the course of the year.
He insists he did not lie at the confirmation hearing, saying his comments were “honest and correct as I understood it at the time”.
Jeff Sessions said he had spoken with the Russian ambassador as a US senator and not as Donald Trump’s “surrogate”.
He said: “I never had meetings with Russian operatives or Russian intermediaries about the Trump campaign.”
Jeff Sessions admitted that in his confirmation comments he “should have slowed down and said, <<but I did meet one Russian official a couple of times>>”.
He said that during his meeting with Sergei Kislyak they talked about terrorism and then “somehow the subject of Ukraine came up”.
Nancy Pelosi repeated her call for Jeff Sessions to quit. She said his “his narrow recusal and sorry attempt to explain away his perjury” were totally inadequate.
Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House intelligence committee, said Jeff Sessions “clearly misled” the Senate and his explanation was “simply not credible”.
Although some top Republicans in the House and Senate agreed Jeff Sessions should recuse himself from the investigation, senior figures rallied behind him, resisting demands for the appointment of an independent prosecutor.
For Jeff Sessions to be charged with perjury, prosecutors would have to show that he not only made false statements, but knowingly and willfully misled members of the committee about an indisputable fact.
Donald Trump’s campaign has acknowledged in a statement that President Barack Obama was born in the United States.
Donald Trump had been a leader of the “birther” movement that questioned Hawaii-born Barack Obama’s citizenship.
However, the Republican presidential nominee’s campaign now accuses his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton of introducing the “smear” during the 2008 Democratic nomination contest.
There is no evidence to link Hillary Clinton to the birthers.
In reaction Hillary Clinton tweeted that Barack Obama’s successor “cannot and will not be the man who led the racist birther movement”.
Donald Trump campaign’s statement signed by senior Trump advisor Jason Miller is far from an admission of error.
Instead, Jason Miller laid the genesis of the birther rumors wrongfully at the feet of Hillary Clinton and her 2008 presidential campaign team.
When they raised questions, Jason Miller said, it was “vicious and conniving” behavior. By broaching the topic three years later, Donald Trump had done a “great service” to the public and president, Jason Miller said.
The statement follows an interview with the Washington Post in which Donald Trump had declined to say Barack Obama had been born in the US, saying instead that he did not want to answer the question.
The claim is a conspiracy theory that Barack Obama was actually born in Kenya and is therefore ineligible to be president.
Reports in various US publications suggest it was circulated in 2008 by die-hard supporters of Hillary Clinton as it became clear that she was not going to win the Democratic nomination.
However, there is no evidence that Hillary Clinton or her then campaign had anything to do with it.
The claim enjoyed a revival with some supporters of Republican candidate John McCain as he fell behind Barack Obama in polls, the Fact Check website reported.
Donald Trump became a vocal questioner of Barack Obama’s citizenship as he was running for a second term as president.
In April 2011, Donald Trump challenged Barack Obama to show his birth certificate, gaining approval from Republicans including former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.
Weeks later Barack Obama released his actual birth certificate from his native state of Hawaii. At that year’s White House correspondents dinner, President Obama made light of the allegations, mocking Donald Trump.
In 2012, Republican candidate Mitt Romney referred to the discredited theory at a campaign rally, joking that no-one had asked to see his birth certificate – drawing swift condemnation from the Obama campaign.
Donald Trump’s campaign chairman Paul Manafort has resigned just two months after taking the helm.
Paul Manafort has come under fire for his ties to Russian interests and former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.
He has denied any wrongdoing and it is not yet clear why he left.
Donald Trump’s campaign team was overhauled earlier this week with the addition of a new campaign chief executive and a new campaign manager.
The Republican presidential nominee, who arrived in Louisiana on August 19 to meet flood victims, has come under pressure in recent weeks after a series of controversial remarks and falling poll numbers.
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Donald Trump said in a statement: “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 Manafort has faced public scrutiny in recent weeks after the New York Times reported that the Ukrainian government had uncovered ledgers pledging more than $12 million in undisclosed cash payments for his work with Viktor Yanukovych, who fled after an uprising in November 2013.
Ukraine’s Anti-Corruption Bureau is also investigating business deals worth millions of dollar that are linked to Paul Manafort.
Paul Manafort has vehemently dismissed the claims and denied any wrongdoing.
Hillary Clinton’s spokesman Robbie Mook said Paul Manafort was another example of Donald Trump’s ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“You can get rid of Manafort, but that doesn’t end the odd bromance Trump has with Putin,” he said.
“Trump still has to answer serious questions hovering over his campaign given his propensity to parrot Putin’s talking points.”
Paul Manafort, a former adviser to George H.W. Bush and Bob Dole, only joined the Trump campaign in March, to help the billionaire secure the party’s nomination. He was promoted to campaign manager in June.
The announcement of new campaign chief, Kellyanne Conway, and campaign CEO, Stephen Bannon, earlier this week raised questions about whether it would diminish Paul Manafort’s role.
Paul Manafort was considered a guiding hand in steering Donald Trump toward a more conventional campaign as opposed to the anti-establishment brand of politics that made his primary campaign successful.
A hotel developer with no previous experience of politics, Donald Trump stunned the political world by beating far more experienced figures in the Republican Party.
Donald Trump faces Hillary Clinton, who has come under intense criticism over her email arrangements while secretary of state, in November’s election.
Donald Trump has overhauled his election campaign team for the second time in two months, bringing in a new manager and CEO.
Kellyanne Conway becomes campaign manager and Stephen Bannon of Breitbart News the CEO. Paul Manafort remains as campaign chairman.
Donald Trump told AP the new leaders were “terrific people… they’re champs”.
The Republican presidential candidate has seen his poll ratings slip since the GOP conventions last month.
Donald Trump trails rival Democratic Party candidate Hillary Clinton both nationally and in key battleground states.
The latest shake-up comes just 82 days before the election.
Speaking to Associated Press news agency about Stephen Bannon, executive chairman of the politically conservative news and opinion website Breitbart, and pollster Kellyanne Conway, Donald Trump said: “I’ve known both of them for a long time. They’re terrific people, they’re winners, they’re champs, and we need to win it.”
AP said the details of the new hierarchy were hammered out at a lengthy senior staff meeting at Trump Tower on August 16 and that more senior appointments were expected in the coming days.
An article in Bloomberg in October 2015, described Stephen Bannon as “the most dangerous political operative in America”.
Stephen Bannon says his role at Breitbart is “virulently anti-establishment”.
Kellyanne Conway has previously worked for Republican politicians Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich.
Although Paul Manafort stays in his job, analysts say the new appointments, which come two months after campaign manager Corey Lewandowski was sacked, represent a demotion.
The Washington Post cited Donald Trump campaign aides as saying the Republican candidate respected Paul Manafort but felt “boxed in” by people “who barely knew him”.
Paul Manafort, a former adviser to George H.W. Bush and Bob Dole, only joined the Trump campaign in March.
Donald Trump has been pressed by some Republicans to tone down his fiery rhetoric in the wake of a number of controversial comments in the past two weeks and the subsequent drop in poll ratings.
However, Donald Trump appears to want to stand by the campaign style that won him the Republican nomination.
He said on August 16: “You know, I am who I am. It’s me. I don’t want to change.
“Everyone talks about, <<Oh, well you’re going to pivot, you’re going to>>. I don’t want to pivot. I mean, you have to be you. If you start pivoting, you’re not being honest with people.”
Paul Manafort has had a troubled week, following a report in the New York Times that ledgers in Ukraine showed he was earmarked for $12.7 million in undisclosed cash payments from the former pro-Russian government between 2007 and 2012. He denied receiving any “off-the-books cash payment”.
The Trump team’s alleged pro-Russia links have been a key issue of the campaign, and the latest allegations sparked a call from the Clinton campaign for a full disclosure.
Opinion polls since the national conventions have made grim reading for the Trump team, both nationally and in key states.
The national lead for Hillary Clinton is currently between seven and eight points, the polls suggest.
The New York Times said on August 15 that no modern candidate trailing by this much three weeks after the conventions had won the election.
An opinion poll in the state of Virginia, carried in the Washington Post on August 16, gave Hillary Clinton a 14 point lead there.
Donald Trump has insisted that his campaign is united despite reports of deep divisions in the GOP after he made a series of missteps.
Speaking at a rally in Florida, the Republican presidential nominee said the campaign was “doing really well”.
According to media outlets, it was in turmoil after Donald Trump repeatedly attacked parents of a fallen Captain Humayun Khan.
Staffers told CNN that they “feel like they are wasting their time”.
Donald Trump said in Dayton Beach: “I just want to tell you the campaign is doing really well.
“It’s never been so well united… I would say right now it’s the best in terms of being united that it’s been since we began.”
Earlier Donald Trump’s campaign chairman Paul Manafort blamed reports of disunity on Trump’s opponent, Democrat Hillary Clinton.
“This is another Clinton narrative that she put out there and the media is picking up on,” he said.
“Mr. Trump has appeared this week at crowds that are overflowing into the street,” Paul Manafort added.
Donald Trump has been sharply criticized for his attacks on the bereaved parents of the Muslim soldier killed in Iraq.
His ongoing war of words with Khizr and Ghazala Khan has intensified rifts within the Republican Party.
NBC News reported that senior Republicans plan to stage an “intervention” to get the campaign back on message, stressing issues such as jobs and trade deals.
According to NBC, the effort will be led by Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus and Donald Trump allies, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
“I think some of what Trump has done is very self-destructive,” Newt Gingrich told Fox Business Network on August 3.
Three prominent Republicans – including New York Congressman Richard Hanna – have said this week that they would vote for Hillary Clinton, saying Donald Trump was unfit to serve as president.
Many Republicans opposed to Donald Trump have stopped short of supporting Hillary Clinton, saying they would vote for a third candidate instead.
One person who did say he would back Donald Trump on August 3 was Clint Eastwood.
While stopping short of endorsing Donald Trump, Clint Eastwood said he would vote for him.
“I can understand where he’s coming from, but I don’t always agree with it,” Clint Eastwood, 86, told Esquire magazine.
Clint Eastwood also said Donald Trump was an enemy of political correctness, adding: “We see people accusing people of being racist and all kinds of stuff. When I grew up, those things weren’t called racist.”
Donald Trump’s presidential campaign spokesperson Katrina Pierson responded to criticism of her appearance during a CNN interview on December 28.
Katrina Pierson, who made a name for herself defending Donald Trump against various attacks, boasted a necklace composed of bullets and their shell casings on CNN. The segment didn’t have anything to do with guns, gun violence or gun control, but the necklace was quite noticeable.
Hours after the interview first aired, Shannon Watts – the founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America – tweeted sarcastically that “surely” Katrina Pierson had worn the bullet necklace “to bring attention to 90 Americans fatally shot daily”.
Shortly after that, Katrina Pierson responded to Shannon Watts’ implicit criticism with a promised trolling of her own: “Maybe I’ll wear a fetus next time& bring awareness to 50 million aborted people that will never ger to be on Twitter.”
Donald Trump has announced he is planning to spend $2 million a week on campaign advertising.
The Republican presidential hopeful said he would bring out “substantial” adverts in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina ahead of primary elections in February.
Donald Trump, a property tycoon, has previously said that he is funding his campaign himself and wouldn’t be in the pocket of lobbyists or powerful corporate entities. He has also insisted that he has spent very little on his campaign so far, and yet is the frontrunner.
“I’ll be spending a minimum of $2 million a week and perhaps substantially more,” Donald Trump said in a video broadcast on CNN.
“I’m going to be doing big ads in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and they’re going to be very substantial.”
Donald Trump’s campaign so far has been marked by a series of controversial statements.
The billionaire, who has no political experience, leads the polls nationally among Republican voters, and is also ahead in some key states.
The primary contests begin at the start of February and the presidential election is in November.
Steven Tyler has asked Donald Trump to stop using Aerosmith’s song Dream On at campaign events without permission.
Attorneys for Steven Tyler have already sent a cease-and-desist letter to the Republican presidential hopeful, saying the use of the song “gives a false impression” the singer endorses Donald Trump’s presidential bid.
Donald Trump has been playing Dream On all summer, even air-drumming to it at a rally in Las Vegas.
Steven Tyler, who is a registered Republican, says it is not a “personal” issue but one of permission and copyright.
It is the third time a musician has confronted Donald Trump about using their songs to promote his presidential bid.
When Donald Trump announced his candidacy, his campaign played Neil Young’s Rockin’ in the Free World – a song that contains the lyrics “He’s just a rich old man / He never cared for anyone”.
Neil Young, a well-known liberal, demanded that Donald Trump stop using the song and declared his support for Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders instead.
Donald Trump’s campaign responded that “despite Neil’s differing political views, Mr. Trump likes Neil very much”.
The tycoon then used REM’s It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine), prompting singer Michael Stipe to issue a strongly-worded statement, saying: “Do not use our music or my voice for your moronic charade of a campaign.”
Conversely, Steven Tyler is not politically opposed to Donald Trump, who is the current frontrunner in the Republican race for the White House.
Steven Tyler even attended the second GOP debate in August as Donald Trump’s guest, according to the Washington Post, but his representatives issued a legal letter to Trump’s campaign over the weekend.
“Trump for President does not have our client’s permission to use Dream On or any of our client’s other music in connection with the campaign because it gives the false impression that he is connected with or endorses Mr. Trump’s presidential bid,” the cease-and-desist letter read.
“If Trump for President does not comply with our demands, our client will be forced to pursue any and all legal or equitable remedies which our client may have against you.”
Donald Trump was initially asked to stop using Dream On, which features the refrain “dream until your dream comes true” after a rally in Alabama two months ago, but he has continued to use it on the campaign trail, reports Rolling Stone.
Politicians using songs by musicians who do not support them has been a thorny issue for decades, since Bruce Springsteen castigated President Ronald Reagan for planning to use Born in the USA as a backdrop for his 1984 re-election campaign.
Technically, copyright laws give politicians carte blanche to use recorded music at their rallies – as long as the venue has a public performance license issued through a songwriters’ association such as ASCAP or BMI.
However, there is some leeway for an artist to complain their image and reputation is being damaged by the repeated use of a song without their express permission.
Donald Trump did it again! Now is about Asian people.
The Republican presidential front-runner impersonated Asian negotiators using broken English during a campaign speech in Iowa on August 25.
He did it on the same day he ripped fellow 2016 candidate Jeb Bush for referring to Asian “anchor babies.”
Donald Trump told supporters in Dubuque, Iowa: “Negotiating with Japan, negotiating with China, when these people walk into the room, they don’t say, <<Oh hello, how’s the weather, so beautiful outside, isn’t it lovely? How are the Yankees doing? Oh they are doing wonderful, great>>.
“They say, <<We want deal>>. “
Donald Trump went on to pan Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton, asking the crowd which one of the three White House candidates they would want negotiating a deal.
The comments come after he panned Jeb Bush on Twitter for a “clumsy move” on immigration.
Jeb Bush, who previously defended his use of the term “anchor babies” after criticism, said on August 24 that his use of the phrase applied more to illegal businesses that aim to woo pregnant Chinese immigrants into the US so that their children could be born as American citizens, and not as much to Hispanic immigrants.