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Trump Unpacked, Episode 1, in Which the Donald Remarks Upon the Pre-dawn Raid of Paul Manafort

I know Mr. Manafort, (You know, the same way you might "know" your neighbor. Not too close, but I "know" him. Classic downplaying of their relationship.) haven’t spoken to him in a long time, (Probably technically true, but you can bet that Trump's legal team has been all over Manafort's. In fact, many observers think that Manofort's dumping his old legal team for a new one immediately after the raid is a sign that Trump threw him under the bus.) but I know him. (Just like I know my secret service guy, what's his name.) He was with the campaign, (he was the campaign manager, about as close as you can get to the center of power.) as you know, (yes, we know) for a very short period of time, (five grueling months, in fact) a relatively short period of time, (he was manager during the Cleveland convention, pretty significant!) but I’ve always known him to be a good man. (This is a non sequitur. "Good man" is nearly an insult in the Trumpian lexicon of "terrific" and "fantastic." Far short of the defense Trump used for his son: "high-quality individual.") I thought it was a very, uh, you know, they do that, uh, uh, very seldom. (This is more than just fumbling for words. Do we detect John Kelly in Trump's ear, ordering him to steer clear of giving red meat to Mueller haters? Trump pulls back here when we expect him to take a swing.) So I was surprised to see it. I was very, very surprised to see it. (He was surprised how quickly Mueller was able to convince a judge to issue a no-knock warrant.) To do that early in the morning, whether that was appropriate, you’d have to ask them. (Again, an uncharacteristic deference to Mueller's power. Appropriate? I'd say urgently necessary.) I’ve always found Paul Manafort to be a very decent man, (Manafort has taken money from notoriously repressive, murderous dictators such as Ferdinand Marcos, Viktor Yanukovych, and a collection of African warlords and despots such as Angola's Jonas Savimbi.) and he’s probably like a lot of other people, (his wealth, secrecy, and willingness to take huge sums of money from known killers and torturers is not like anyone I or anyone reading this knows.) probably makes consultant fees all over the place, (He does, see above. His specialty is rehabilitating the public images of known human rights abusers. The Center for Public Integrity rated his consulting firm in the top five of the "Torturers' Lobby.") who knows, (anyone who can read Wikipedia knows. "Who knows" is a well-worn Trumpian deflection meant to discredit all truths.) I don’t know, (Yes, you do, Mr. Trump. You know exactly who Manafort is. That is a bald-faced lie.) but uh, I thought that was a very… it was pretty tough stuff, (You mean the sort of "stuff" you advocated in your speech to a group of police officers?) to wake him up, (After the grilling Manafort received that day, there is no way that man was sleeping. Probably sweating through his silk sheets.) perhaps his family was there, (You mean his grown daughters? One of whom texted to the other, "don't fool yourself. That money we have is blood money"?) I think that’s pretty tough stuff. (Tough stuff? Wait until old Bob comes for you, Donnie.)


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