Can you imagine the response if this had happened in the Clinton campaign?
But in the GOP campaign, it is taken as business as usual, no big deal, it’s OK if you’re Republican. James Fallows reports in the Atlantic:
This is a breaking-news placeholder, for “what we knew, when” purposes:
- One month ago, the Republican platform was altered to soften any commitment to supporting Ukraine in its struggles against Russia (which seized Crimea from Ukraine two years ago). This was the only significant change in the foreign-policy aspects of the platform at the convention.
- Two weeks ago, Donald Trump’s campaign manager Paul Manafort, whose former PR clients included Victor Yanukovich, the now-deposed, pro-Russian President of Ukraine, categorically denied that he or anyone from the Trump campaign had anything whatsoever to do with this change.
- One week ago, several members of the platform committee began emergingto say: No, that’s not true, the only reason for the change was pressure from the Trump campaign. That is, that Paul Manafort categorical denials could not be true. The Trump campaign has not addressed the contradictions.
- This evening, the New York Times has a big investigative piece by Andrew Kramer, Mike McIntire, and Barry Meier on Paul Manafort’s involvement in Ukraine. It says, among other things, that secret ledgers “show $12.7 million in undisclosed cash payments designated for Mr. Manafort from Mr. Yanukovych’s pro-Russian political party from 2007 to 2012, according to Ukraine’s newly formed National Anti-Corruption Bureau. Investigators assert that the disbursements were part of an illegal off-the-books system whose recipients also included election officials.” A delicious note is that Corey Lewandowski, the ousted pre-Manafort Trump campaign manager,tweeted out a link to the NYT story.
What does this add up to? At the moment I don’t know. I will say one more time: nothing quite like this has happened before. . .
And in the meantime, Trump is still endorsed and supported by Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, Marc Rubio, John McCain, and George P. Bush, among others.
What would Trump have to do to lose their endorsement? Bomb an orphanage?