Manafort has been a polarizing figure within Trump world ever since he joined on in late March to ward off the looming threat of a contested convention. Once Trump’s path to the nomination became clear, he accumulated power within the campaign and ultimately took over when campaign manager Corey Lewandowski was fired.
But Manafort found himself in hot water over last summer amid swirling reports linking him to pro-Russian politicians in Ukraine. News outlets linked him to a successful push to weaken the GOP platform’s language about protecting Ukraine from Russian intervention. And a report surfaced about his name appearing on a secret ledger listing $12.7 million in under-the-table payments from a pro-Russian Ukrainian party.
While the bombshell reports alleging possible collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia hadn’t dropped by that point, the swirling revelations cast a dark cloud of headlines over Trump’s campaign that ultimately sent Manafort packing.