Paul Manafort Seeks 2024 Convention Role Despite Unvetted Foreign Ties

Paul Manafort, former Trump campaign chairman, is meeting with Republicans to discuss a potential role at the 2024 Republican National Convention despite his unvetted foreign activities. Manafort has remained active in international consulting since his 2020 pardon, including a Chinese media venture and advising political figures in Japan and South Korea.

author-image
Bijay Laxmi
New Update
Paul Manafort Seeks 2024 Convention Role Despite Unvetted Foreign Ties

Paul Manafort Seeks 2024 Convention Role Despite Unvetted Foreign Ties

Paul Manafort, former Trump campaign chairman, has been meeting with Republicans to discuss a potential role at the 2024 Republican National Convention in Milwaukee, despite his unvetted foreign activities in China, Japan, and Latin America. Manafort, who was pardoned by former President Donald Trump in 2020 after being convicted of money laundering and obstruction of justice, has remained active in international consulting since his release from prison.

Why this matters: The involvement of a figure with unvetted foreign ties in a major political convention raises concerns about potential conflicts of interest and national security risks. This development could have significant implications for the integrity of the 2024 presidential election and the Republican Party's ability to address these issues.

Manafort's recent activities include efforts to launch a Netflix-like mobile streaming and entertainment platform in China with the endorsement of the Chinese government. He has also sought to advise political figures in Japan and South Korea and traveled to Guatemala in 2021 to discuss Latin American politics and the Latino vote with a migrant advocacy group. "There is nothing about my limited role of introductions to US business people that involves anything to do with the politics of US-China relations," Manafort stated.

Despite his criminal record and foreign entanglements, Trump advisers say the former president is determined to give Manafort, now 75, a substantial role at the convention due to his loyalty. However, they have not yet vetted Manafort's foreign activities and would want to review them before the convention. Manafort has offered to work for free, as he did in 2016 when he helped guide Trump to theWhite Houseas his campaign chairman.

Manafort's involvement in the Chinese media venture, which has not been previously reported, may test Trump's willingness to rely on figures with potential financial conflicts of interest. In 2020, a bipartisan Senate panel described Manafort's connections to pro-Russian figures as a "grave counterintelligence threat." His activities raise questions about how he will balance sensitive business dealings and his influence with the likely Republican nominee for president.

The news of Manafort's potential return to Trump's inner circle comes as the former president's 2024 campaign is shaping up to be a lean operation, with swing state officials expressing concerns about a lack of critical campaign resources. Manafort's longtime friend and business partner Hector Hoyos stated,"His main interest is making sure the Republican Party gets its act together. "As Manafort seeks to reenter the political arena, his unvetted foreign activities cast a shadow over his potential role in the upcoming presidential race.