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Paul Manafort Quits The Trump Campaign

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Paul Manafort, who was chairman of the Trump campaign in 2016 and also served time in prison,
was playing a role in the planning of the 2024 Republican convention.Credit…Lucas Jackson/Reuters

Paul Manafort, convicted and pardoned felon, has quit his again-unpaid role as advisor to the Republican National Convention.

“As a longtime, staunch supporter of President Trump and given my nearly 50 years experience in managing presidential conventions, I was offering my advice and suggestions to the Trump campaign on the upcoming convention in a volunteer capacity,” Mr. Manafort told The Times, in a statement provided by the Trump campaign.

“However, it is clear that the media wants to use me as a distraction to try and harm President Trump and his campaign by recycling old news,” he said.

Washington Post (gift link) has some new news: Manafort is now working for China instead of Russia. And he’s been trying to hook up with Japan, South Korea, and Guatemala.

The old news is that the one change that the Trump campaign worked successfully to get in the 2016 Republican platform was to kill an amendment in support of Ukraine against Russia.

Inside the meeting, Diana Denman, a platform committee member from Texas who was a Ted Cruz supporter, proposed a platform amendment that would call for maintaining or increasing sanctions against Russia, increasing aid for Ukraine and “providing lethal defensive weapons” to the Ukrainian military.

“Today, the post-Cold War ideal of a ‘Europe whole and free’ is being severely tested by Russia’s ongoing military aggression in Ukraine,” the amendment read. “The Ukrainian people deserve our admiration and support in their struggle.”

Trump staffers in the room, who are not delegates but are there to oversee the process, intervened. By working with pro-Trump delegates, they were able to get the issue tabled while they devised a method to roll back the language.

On the sideline, Denman tried to persuade the Trump staffers not to change the language, but failed. “I was troubled when they put aside my amendment and then watered it down,” Denman told me. “I said, ‘What is your problem with a country that wants to remain free?’ It seems like a simple thing.”

Finally, Trump staffers wrote an amendment to Denman’s amendment that stripped out the platform’s call for “providing lethal defensive weapons” and replaced it with softer language calling for “appropriate assistance.”

And the faithful still hold to that. Manafort hasn’t been directly connected to that action, but it can’t have disappointed his former masters.

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