Question of the Day: Why Did Paul Manafort Agree to Become Trump’s Campaign Manager?

As a side note on the Manafort indictment, this is yet another example of the peculiar arrogance of powerful men in Washington. The poster child for this has long been Gary Hart, who famously dared reporters to follow him around when he was suspected of having an affair with Donna Rice. That ended badly.

And now we have Paul Manafort. According to today’s indictment, he spent years engaged in a wide-ranging scheme of money laundering to the tune of $75 million. If you’ve done something like this, your best lifestyle choice is to stay very, very quiet. Attract no attention. Stay as far away as possible from reporters and FBI agents.

So what does Manafort do? He signs on as campaign manager for the biggest, loudest, brassiest presidential campaign in recent history. Practically his first actions were related to defending Russia for a candidate who was already suspected of being a little too simpatico with Vladimir Putin. He was almost literally daring reporters to investigate him.

Why? Do people like this figure that if they’ve gotten away with something for years, they’ll get away with it forever? Are they so smitten with their own brilliance that they can barely conceive of being outwitted by anyone else? Do they just not think at all? It is a mystery.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate