COLD TAKES

When Donald Trump Hired Paul Manafort, Pundits Praised the Move

“An excellent choice.”

“A seasoned veteran [...] he’s going to play by the rules.”

“A good move.”

“Smart.”

So goes a handful of pundits’ analysis of President Trump’s decision to put Paul Manafort—who today accepted a plea deal from Robert Mueller to cooperate in the special prosecutor’s investigation—in charge of his campaign in 2016. Manafort, of course, ran things through the convention before resigning in August of that year once news of the foreign lobbying that landed him in yet another courtroom this morning came to the forefront. Now that it’s a strong possibility Trump may come to rue tapping Manafort for the job, let’s take a look back on how bullish the experts were on his stepping into the role back in 2016:

—Timothy Burke