Trump Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort talks to reporters on the floor of the Republican National Convention at Quicken Loans Arena, Sunday, July 17, 2016, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

This is Not What Hiring “The Best” Looks Like

Paul Manafort was always trouble. The Kremlin’s favorite American consultant, he was aligned with all the wrong people who had all the wrong intentions and all the wrong interests compared to the United States. He was brought into the Trump campaign, you will recall, to ensure no one could unseat Trump at the convention. He brought with him others, one of whom at least roughed up people at the convention.

Manafort’s dealings with nefarious Russians now may sink the Trump Presidency. The federal government, it turns out, has been watching Manafort. He has been under surveillance and now may be indicted. More particularly, it is possible Manafort will be indicted by the State of New York so that President Trump cannot pardon him.

We do not know that an actual crime took place and even then a prosecutor would have to prove it. But that he was under surveillance during the campaign is deeply troubling. President Trump’s supporters will take it as proof that Barack Obama had wiretapped the campaign. What they should take it as is that President Trump does not actually always hire the best people.

The two people he clung to loyally, Manafort and Mike Flynn, are now anchors to his Presidency. You would think that, in all of this, President Trump would realize the terrible optics of cozying up to the Russians or making kissy face with Vladimir Putin. But it does not seem so.

Nonetheless, it is worth pointing out that there is nothing there about President Trump. There are not yet any allegations outside the leftwing fever swamp about President Trump’s complicity in whatever it is Paul Manafort did. While it does not look good, appearance is not fact and there need to be facts tying any crime of Manafort’s to a knowing President.

Right now there are none. What there is, however, is another reminder that contrary to what President Trump says, he does not always hire the best people.

By the way, it is worth noting that the Daily Caller had this story long before major media outlets. That will get lost in the coming wave of narratives. But they deserve credit for breaking this story.

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Erick Erickson

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