Donald Trump

Paul Manafort's Resignation is the Latest Sign That Donald Trump Will Never, Ever Change

The campaign manager had promised that Trump would change his tune during the general election. That didn't happen.


Credit—Douliery Olivier/ABACA USA/Newscom

Donald Trump's campaign manager, Paul Manafort, tendered his resignation today, saying that he would step down from the campaign. The move follows reports about Manafort's lobbying connections to a pro-Russian governing party in Ukraine, as well as a restructuring of the top of the campaign: In a leadership shakeup earlier this week, Trump brought on Breitbart CEO Stephen Bannon and Republican pollster Kellyanne Conway to lead his campaign.

Manafort's exit is the latest sign that Trump is likely change little from how he ran during the Republican primary. Manafort has always been the chief proponent of the idea that Trump would significantly alter his tone and approach during the general election.

In April, shortly after joining Trump, The New York Times obtained a leaked recording of Manafort telling Republican National Committee (RNC) members, "That's what's important for you to understand: That he [Trump] gets it, and that the part he's been playing is evolving." What Manafort was promising was a campaign turnaround. Trump's "negatives are going to come down," he said at the time, "the image is going to change, but Clinton is still going to be crooked Hillary."

The claim was difficult to believe at the time, and in the end, the turnaround didn't happen. In the weeks since the party conventions, Trump has taken a nose-dive in the polls and continued to frustrate even those in his party who say they support him, with reports circulating that the RNC may cut funding to Trump's operation. Even those who work directly for him in his campaign have been grousing anonymously that Trump lacks the discipline and desire to run his campaign effectively.

Trump last night offered a vague expression of regret—though not quite an apology—for unspecified statements that may have caused "personal pain," but otherwise seems intent on sticking with the same basic strategy going forward, perhaps with some adjusted tactics implemented by his campaign's new leadership. Manafort promised a new direction, and a new Trump, but the candidate effectively promised otherwise. His resignation today, in other words, is further evidence that Trump is not playing a part, that his image will not change, and that Trump is likely to maintain his essential character for the duration of the campaign.

NEXT: Why Libertarians (and Other 3rd Parties) Should Thank Donald Trump

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  1. Oh goodie, another Trump is the SuXxor onslaught.Some of us mighht have actually figutred that out by now, Reason.

    See y’all Monday!

    1. I was fooled by yesterday’s lull into believing that maybe they’d had an editorial meeting *(intervention) and someone said, “No more”.

      I think it was just that they were just reloading for the next blitz.

  2. When you buy a ticket for the MAGA train, you go where the driver says you go. Pay no attention to barbed wire and smokestacks.

  3. In April, shortly after joining Trump, The New York Times obtained a leaked recording …

    Where did that leak come from? Was it the Russians? I’ll bet it was the Russians. Because if it was the Russians, that is literally an act of treason. We need to drop everything, make this front page news, and investigate. Because we can’t have Russians influencing our presidential elections, especially the most important election in our lifetime.

  4. Another person who will never, ever change is Pete Macadoodle Suderweigel, aka PMS.

    He will always be the dishonest shitback hack that he is now.

    1. Glad to see you back to your old form Mike. Those meds weren’t doing you any good anyway.

      1. Nicely selected, HM.

    2. Squirrel!

    3. Don’t change Mike.

  5. The faux apology from last night seems like something new, an attempt to at least change the tone to a more Presidential-seeming one.

    My thought is that Bannon’s support was contingent in some way upon that change in tone. We’ll see.

    Also: Who’s that guy inspecting his boogers behind Manafort?

    1. Okay, I laughed.

  6. Or, it could be a sign that Trump is maturing in terms of who he has involved in his campaign. Getting rid of a Putin crony isn’t a bad thing.

  7. How many more farmhands must die before we finally get comprehensive manure pit control!

      1. It looks like Ricky is wearing Bubble’s glasses!

    1. “You know what a shit barometer is, Bubbles? It measures the shit pressure in the air. You feel it? Listen, Bubs, hear that? The sound of the whispering winds of shit. You will, my sorry friend. when the shit barometer rises, you’ll feel it too. Your ears will implode from the shit pressure….shit winds are a-comin’.”

      – Jim Lahey

  8. Hasn’t the entire last week looked like a change in Trump’s campaign? He isn’t nearly as fun as before. Now, maybe he hasn’t, but I wouldn’t put too much of my argument on unsubstantiated reports and anonymous grousing though.

  9. To summarize this election:

    1. A majority of Americans are aware that Hillary Clinton is dishonest and untrustworthy

    2. Obamacare is imploding

    3. It’s been confirmed that the Obama administration ransomed hostages from Iran

    The Democrats have failed on every single metric that would normally decide an election. And they’re still going to win!

    The Republican Party sure picked a great year to commit suicide with Trump.

    1. And his voters wonder why his critics are so irate. No, it’s just TDS that the right is losing a shoo-in election to such a heinous candidate.

    2. Obama’s approval rating is over 50%. Is that because Trump, or because many voters don’t seem to give a shit about Iran, or Obamacare, or Syria, etc etc?

      1. You mean all those scandals that Republicans keep making up to discredit a good man?

      2. I’d say mostly the former. Obama looks like an elder statesman compared to Trump and a honest public servant compared to Hillary.

        1. I do not think any Republican running this year would have had an easy time with Hillary. Obama also controls the narrative. Nothing sticks to him. He doesn’t even bother to have press conferences with the White House press corps. The same applies to Hillary, for the most part. Any Republican running against Hillary would be facing an uphill battle with as many hurdles as Trump has, because in general the media cannot wait to jump on controversy that hurts a Republican, and they ignore controversies that harm Hillary. Or, at the very least, Hillary/Obama controversies do not receive the same scrutiny Republican controversies do. Trump just has the bad habit of making every situation worse.

          1. I think Scott Walker might have had a decent chance. As much as I dislike Kasich he also may have done well against her. I still Rand would have had a good chance.

            1. Maybe. I tend to think the deck is stacked against anyone with an R next to their name, which is mostly due to their insistence on fighting culture wars that were inevitable losers.

          2. He doesn’t even bother to have press conferences with the White House press corps.

            Why would he? He’s got around 90% of the major newspapers writing glowing reports, or painting everything as a fake scandal. He has no need to ‘talk’ to the press, send messages or build a presidential narrative. He got a turnkey deal in 2008.

      3. Most voters don’t give a shit about Iran. The worst of Obamacare has yet to hit so it remains popular among some for its aspirational goals. Most voters don’t give a shit about Syria because Americans aren’t dying there in large numbers.

        More importantly, people still seem to like Obama on a personal level. That buys you a lot of leeway with voters.

        1. Yeah, most people probably think Obama’s cool and/or a good guy. That wraps up millions of votes right there. I mean, we need a cool, good guy (or lady) to be president, right?

        2. i know a few people like that. “I really like the guy”, they say. Why ? Thin-skinned, arrogant, petulant, pompous. Would you wanna go on a road trip with the guy ? The little twerp who thought taking extra tokes with an “interception” was cool ? He seems completely unlikable to me.

      4. Do most 2 term Presidents’ approval ratings go up toward the end as folks realize they won’t have to put up with him much longer?

        1. According to fivethirtyeight, yes. But, Obama’s ratings are already very high.

    3. Yes, I agree. In what should be a slam dunk win, the Repubs hit the rim. Hard.

      1. Is that handle a PSU reference?

        1. 50%

          1. You go there?

            I was class of 88

            1. Yes, for grad school – 92-96. I came up with that handle (on other forums) when cougar still meant mountain lion and Nittany didn’t conjure up images of pedophiles. You and I both know that’s BS, but perception is a bitch.

              1. You and I both know that’s BS

                Absolutely. Don’t bring it up around my wife. She’s on a crusade to get every member on the BoT that voted to fire Joe ousted. Very successfully, I might add.

                Shame that such a good man died in shame over bullshit media accusations.

                1. If we ever shall meet, I’ll remember to not bring this up

    4. At least Nick is happy.

    5. Unfortunately, most Americans are informed of Moff’s three points by the mainstream news sources which ignore or excuse them. They are a big deal to some of us, but obviously not so much to the greater population.

      Add the fact that the same media has had it in for every Republican presidential candidate for years and it’s reasonable to say that no living Republican could easily win this election.

      1. I’m not saying Generic Republican would have an easy go of it, but given Hillary’s flaws it really would have been tough for the media to drag her over the finish line. America hates and distrusts the media, I don’t see how they could fix her serious problems with trust and likability. Trump gives them an out because all they have to do is make America hate and distrust Trump more, something Donald is apparently more than willing to assist them with.

    6. What was the alternative? More failure faster?

    7. The R’s aren’t committing suicide with Trump. He has is the inevitable result of them already committing suicide by fellating Obama for 8 years.

      My dream is that he will win and take a wrecking bar to the whole corrupt, incompetent political class. I can dream, cant I?

      1. or that he’ll run again in 2020 and sweep the primaries to set up the sequel

    8. I feel like you’re greatly underestimating Democrats’ demographic and geographic advantage in presidential elections. Any Dem has by default ~230 electoral votes locked up, far more than a Republican candidate.

      Obamacare is just the first step towards socialized healthcare and everybody who votes Democrat is aware of this so its implosion is no big concern.

      Foreign policy is taking a back seat these days. I really think most Americans are tiring of being everywhere in the world at once and are tuning everything out.

      No matter who the Republicans nominated, they were going to have a tough time. Like somebody else mentioned, Obama’s approval rating is at/over 50%. The economy, while not strong, is not bad enough to seriously drag down the incumbent party. These dreams about how Cruz or Rubio or Bush would be doing a better job are just that: dreams. Yes, the race with Hillary would probably be tighter but it would still be incredibly hard.

    9. You maybe left out 1a – “The DNC conspired with the media to sabotage younger-voter’s preferred candidate”

    10. obamacare is only imploding for the tiny percent who purchase insurance on the individual market. 90+% of us aren’t personally impacted, and Hillary will save us with a single-payer option.

  10. They are never ever ever getting back together

    1. How very swift of you, LP1477.

  11. And as unchanged as Trump is, he is still not iota worse in any way whatsoever than Hillary.

        1. It’s a toss up with Clinton. “Listen to that voice! Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the voice of our next president?”

    1. Except at having the media be in the tank for him.

      1. Those media sickos are always making Trump look bad by recording what he says and letting people read/listen/watch it.

        1. If they stuck to po-faced reporting, I’d agree. But the left can never help itself, they have to dive head-first into narrative-peddling mode. So they take nontroversies like his 2A joke, which was by any metric an awful disservice to gunowners, violating pretty much the first rule of Republican politics, and spin it into making threats against Hillary. That is TDS in action.

          1. Yeah, but I don’t see why anyone who considers themself a libertarian gives a fuck about whether GOP or Democratic candidates are treated fairly. Fuck them both. I’d be fine with either of them being called dog-raping granny-fuckers.

            1. So granny-fucking is fine when you’re producing your Hospice Hotties line of adult videos, but when applied to politicians it’s suddenly an insult?

            2. It isn’t about the candidates – it’s about the media trying to pretend they are all Sgt Friday on Dragnet “just the facts mam” objective in what they do when that is complete bullshit.

            3. GayJay says he is the Republican candidate this election

        2. Yeah Hugh, that’s exactly what I said. Even Chris Cuomo admits to obvious media bias, but not Hugh.

        3. Those media sickos are always making Trump look bad by recording what he says and letting people read/listen/watch it.

          The media self-characterizes those as “positive stories”.

        4. I’m pretty sure if they did that with Hillary, her ratings would be in the shitter too. So even there…

    2. He’s at least worse in different ways than Hillary. He might also be worse on balance, but that really depends on how he would actually govern and how Congress/the electorate would react to it. Regardless, they are both unacceptable to me and that’s why I’m happily voting for GJ.

      1. I am of the opinion that Hillary Clinton is far worse than Trump on pretty much every front. Trump talks a big game, but you’ll note that he’s pretty good at designing escape hatches into his business schemes. When they sink, he doesn’t sink with them. As a result, I think Trump will be just another Obama, albeit one who isn’t trying to destroy the financial industry. Hillary OTOH, if that woman doesn’t have Antisocial Personality Disorder, I’ll eat my hat.

        1. Well where’s his escape hatch in the presidential race? If he loses big to,for Christ sake Hillary Clinton, his self-image will be shattered. I think Trump knows it is over so he is simply going to try to keep the loss within acceptable bounds so he can blame “rigged elections” and the “evil media” for his loss, not his own incompetent actions.

          1. It’s not an escape hatch, it’s an ejector seat: he’ll blame it on reluctant Republicans, #NeverTrump, Lyin’ Ted, Paul Ryan, libertarians. If we’re lucky he’ll claim a conspiracy by Democrats.

      2. I would say Hillary is worse because she will be enabled by congress, the media, and the entrenched federal bureaucracies. Trump on the other hand will be opposed by them.

        1. ^ So much this

        2. It’s almost certain that the House will remain in Republican hands, so why will it enable Hillary but oppose Trump?

          1. NeverTrump?
            I think there’s enough opposition intra-party for Trump that he will have a much more difficult time keeping the party in line vs Clinton w the dems. Plus the house wasn’t all that effective in opposing Obama, so I would expect Hillary to have a similar experience.
            I think enabling is overstating it for Rs with Clinton, but it’s not hard to believe neither of them would have much luck wooing house repubs.

            1. Trump would rubber-stamp whatever Ryan and McConnell send to him. He has no agenda of his own. Except that wall.

    3. Given that he was doing a lot better in the polls before Manafort toned him down, why should he change? I hope he cranks it up to 11! He’d probably win in a landslide!

  12. Quite frankly, “not changing” is a rather refreshing change for a politician.

    1. That’s why people loved Bernie. He hasn’t changed so much as his underwear since he got elected.

      1. Or his brand of deodorant.

      2. Right. And came close to toppling the most shameless opportunist since Nixon (possibly of all time), People are looking so hard for authenticity that even authentically bad will do.

  13. Obama’s approval rating is over 50%.

    America deserves its crony banana republic.

    1. Those who rob Peter to pay Paul can always rely on the support of Paul.

      1. Gary King: No, I borrowed from Peter to pay you. I still owe Paul!

  14. It’s not exactly hard to point out the double standards. Back when Louisiana was flooding during the Bush administration, that was proof that that Bush doesn’t care about black people. But another flood in Louisiana, meh it’s not worth interrupting Obama’s golf game.

  15. I think one thing will change that may help him. With Bannon and Roger Ailes helping him, he may actually attack Hillary on thinks that are coming up about her right away. This, to me has been the biggest head scratcher. He obviously has no problem attacking her. And of course he is going to step in it constantly. But why hasn’t he gone full Trump on her over the Clinton Foundation contributions, money for hostages, not taking the ethics class at the state department, or even the latest questions about her health like the Dr. Drew interview.

  16. By the way, in reference to Grand Moff’s post above, here’s how one newspaper classifies the confirmation that Obama did in fact pay the Iranians a planeload of cash for hostages… the opening salvo:

    GOP slams Obama after explanation of $400M payment to Iran

    WASHINGTON (AP) ? The Obama administration is facing a storm of Republican criticism after acknowledging that a $400 million cash payment to Iran seven months ago was contingent on the release of a group of American prisoners.

    The prisoner release and cash transfer occurred Jan. 17, fueling suspicions from Republican lawmakers and accusations from GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump of a quid pro quo that undermined America’s longstanding opposition to ransom payments. Several members of Congress immediately pounced on Thursday’s shift.

    Trump went further in a speech Thursday night in Charlotte, North Carolina, accusing President Barack Obama of lying. “He denied it was for the hostages, but it was. He said we don’t pay ransom, but he did. He lied about the hostages, openly and blatantly,” Trump said.

    LOT of quotes from Republicans in the article. See? The deal itself? Not important. It’s like… like… the Ball of McGrogg! The real story is the good guys are trying to do something, and the bad guys are trying to stop them! that’s the story!!!1!!

    1. That is a great example. Every Republican deals with this, and because they are a fetid hive of foolishness they have been unable to put forth a presidential candidate – or general party theory – that can deal overcome it.

      1. How can a candidate or a policy overcome a massive, deliberately dishonest propaganda blitz? Unless the policy involves going Charlie Hebdo on those who disrespect their Profit.

        1. You know who else disrespects Profits?

        2. How about pulling a George Costanza and doing the opposite of their first instinct?

    2. The real story is the good guys are trying to do something, and the bad guys are trying to stop them! that’s the story!!!1!

      Yeah. The way these things are reported is “the facts don’t matter – if republicans are talking about them? its clearly bullshit being used for political gain”.

      There is never any actual assessment of the merits of the actual facts. Was it ransom? Even the state department can’t really deny it. They tiredly try and say, “…depending on how you look at it“… but the people carrying water for them won’t give an inch and insist there was absolutely nothing inappropriate OMG !

      1. That fool Donald Trump is criticizing the President!

        Yeah, we’ve got international fucking intrigue going on with the state department, and a central feature of the story are dufus Donald Trump’s thoughts.

        I’d love to commit an light-of-day crime and then have the newspaper interview retards about their opinion of what happened.

      2. If you read the followup tweets, people now believe the hostages were the pay, and the money was the ransom we were holding from Iran. Amazing how some minds work.

        1. People have argued that “but we owed them that money anyway!”

          Which is an extremely odd way to characterize money which we’d basically said, “Fuck You” to them about for nearly 40 years.

          They seem to think that things like the 10s of billions of dollars which we’ve barred from Iran annually in the decades in-between via embargo are simply hand-waved away as irrelevant. No, that $400m was specially earmarked for ‘payback’… eventually! (why not 30 more years?)

          And since they seem to be such sticklers for the “Rules”, which means we were always going to pay them that money back…. odd that they suddenly think ‘rules are flexible’ when it comes to re-imposing sanctions due to violations of the missile-test-bans, etc.

          I think we should have ended sanctions unilaterally sans any deal. I think we should have completely changed the dynamic w/ iran a long time ago. I think the way Obama has tried doing it has ended up worse than simply having done nothing and left the policy in place. We’ve gained nothing, seriously damaged US diplomatic power, and estranged the only allies we had in the region.

      3. It was Iran’s money…money which I imagine the U.S. could have seized in order to compensate victims of Iranian-backed terrorism.

        But they used it instead to pay ransom for hostages.

        Mind you, the Church has traditionally classified ransoming captives as one of the corporal works of mercy.

        The USA ransomed captives taken by the North African pirate states. The 1797 Treaty with Tripoli, so beloved of secularists, was basically a ransom treaty.

        As these examples suggest, the issue of ransom has often come up in relations with the Islamic world.

        1. It was money that used to be in the hands of the Shah, not the government that currently exists. Additionally, the Shah was being propped up by th eUS so I am guessing that money originated from US taxpayers.

          If it were up to me I would do the Ayatollah what Reagan did to Gaddaffi. The hostages would be back within 24 hours.

          I am convinced that that worthless POS in the oval office is losing on purpose. After all, America is the big meanie, everything is our fault and we need to be punished and learn humility.

      4. Who will be this scandal’s Ollie North? Or is that not even needed since, because…

        1. This scandal doesn’t need an Ollie North because the scrutiny, as you can see, is on the cheap political points the GOP is trying to score by attacking Obama who is just trying to do the right thing. Imagine if Iran/Contra had been characterized this way.

          1. Yup

          2. What was done in Benghazi was a thousand times worse than Iran/Contra. Who is going to jail for that?

            1. The guy who made the you-tube video?

      5. News cycle 1: They piss on your back and tell you its raining
        News cycle 2: Well, it wasn’t rain, but it contained more water than any other compound
        News cycle 3: Okay, maybe it was urine, but they really didn’t piss on you, they pissed on your clothes which were touching your back.

        1. I’m stealing this.

      6. Same deal as the DNC leaks. Who gives a shit what the leaks show? Let’s talk about whether the Russians did it. And did they do it for secret Russian mole Donald Trump?

    3. So to recap:
      1. Obama negotiated deal with Iranians over the nuclear program
      2. Congressional republicans freak out that deal isn’t contingent on releasing US prisoners
      3. Obama makes moving forward with the deal contingent on releasing US prisoners
      4. Congressional republicans freak out that deal is contingent on releasing US prisoners
      5. Congressional republicans wonder why everyone has stopped paying attention to their freak outs.

  17. RE: Paul Manafort’s Resignation is the Latest Sign That Donald Trump Will Never, Ever Change

    Trump the Grump should never change.
    How will we know what fascism looks like if he did?

    1. “How will we know what fascism looks like if he did?”

      By electing ‘We will have equity in the business’ Cankles.

    2. That’s easy. When people have finally had enough, they’ll happily vote for a flat out fascist, who won’t even make an pretense about being anything else.

  18. “Trump is likely to maintain his essential character for the duration of the campaign.”

    I cant understand why so many people want Trump to be more like the losers he keeps trouncing.

    I am not sure what to make of the polls other than I don’t trust them. I remember Carter being 20 points ahead of Reagan right up until Reagan won in a landslide.

    We will find out in November. It will be a sad day if the economy crushing socialist wins.

    1. At least we’ll have the consolation of knowing that the mentally unstable incompetent fascist didn’t win.

      1. Hilary is not going to win? That is a relief!

      2. You left out her propensity for lying. And yeah, those temper tantrums sure do point to instability,

      3. I am glad you brought that up, used that word.

        Fascism is simply one form of socialism. Fascism is an economic system wherein government owns controlling interests in businesses and the economy is run by central planners, right down to individual businesses. There is no system more suited to cronyism, corruption and incompetence. Hillary has stated outright her plan to operate on the fascist model and Trump has said no such thing.

        I guess sock puppets do serve a good purpose now and then.

        1. I’m referring more to the parts of the definition having to do with authoritarianism, racism, and nationalism. Like, he’s kind of a textbook fascist, except more ridiculous than any who have come before.

          Hillary is a mainstream Democrat with policy goals in the mainstream of American acceptability. You don’t have to like her policies, but you make yourself look like an idiot when you describe them with such hysteria and hyperbole.

      4. Of course you’re not going to win, Tony.

        You’re not on the ballot.

  19. Here I had a fantasy an hour might pass without a TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP,

  20. So when does Manafort start working for trumbart?

  21. You folks are almost as bad as the NY Times, Wa. Post, etc. You think your ideas will trickle down. I’d like to know in which century. You’re aiding and abetting the event that will finally finish off the Bill of Rights. If you didn’t like Obama, you’ll like Obama-with-a-Brain even less. But no worry, you’ll still have your principles and your intellectual descendants in 50 years can still claim ideologic purity. Congratulations.

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