Manafort 2016 Quote Describes Just How Close Roger Stone Was To Trump

FILE - In this July 18, 2016, file photo, Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort walks around the convention floor before the opening session of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. Hillary Clinton’s campaign is questioning Donald Trump’s top political aide’s ties to a pro-Kremlin political party in Ukraine, claiming it is evidence of the Republican nominee’s cozy relationship with Russia. The New York Times reported that handwritten ledgers found in Ukraine show $12.7 million in undisclosed payments to Paul Manafort from the pro-Russia party founded by the country’s former president Viktor Yanukovych. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)
Carolyn Kaster/AP

Roger Stone may have known in advance of the Wikileaks email dump. But is he really that close to Trump?

Ask Paul Manafort.

“Roger’s relationship with Trump has been so interconnected that it’s hard to define what’s Roger and what’s Donald,” Manafort told a Netflix film crew during the 2016 presidential campaign. 

The documentary, “Get Me Roger Stone,” was released in April 2017, but filmmakers followed Stone and his associates around as they managed Trump during the 2016 Republican primary and general election.

Manafort added later in the film that in terms of “Roger’s relationship with Trump, they both see the world in a very similar way.” 

“If Trump is elected president, I think Roger will see one more very significant impact he’s had on world history,” Manafort said. 

In an appearance on Infowars in December 2015, Trump himself said that Stone was “a tough cookie, I’ll tell you that, but people like him, but he’s been so loyal and so wonderful.”

Stone and Manafort were also quite close.

Footage from the documentary shows Stone and Manafort conferring during the Republican National Convention, which went from July 18 to July 21, 2016.

One day after the convention’s end, according to the indictment of Stone, “a senior Trump Campaign official was directed to contact STONE about any additional releases and what other damaging information Organization 1 had regarding the Clinton Campaign.” The identity of that “senior Trump Campaign official” is unclear.

Manafort and Stone have a long history together that extends back into the 1970s, when the two were involved in the National Republican Political Action Committee, a pioneer of the now-ubiquitous practice of using non-profit organizations for massive political spending, thereby avoiding campaign finance requirements.

In the 1980s, Manafort and Stone formed Black, Manafort, & Stone along with lobbyist Charlie Black. That firm became known for having a client list reminiscent of the clientele of the taverna in Star Wars — rejects of the galaxy, ranging from Angolan warlord Jonas Savimbi to Philippines dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

The foreign business is what eventually brought Manafort down, after he used a series of Cyprus-based offshore accounts to move undisclosed millions in foreign payments into the United States.

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