Tags: Trump Administration | Donald Trump | GOP2016 | Mike Huckabee | mike huckabee | paul manafort | donald trump

Huckabee: Trump Wouldn't Be Where He Is Today Without Manafort

(Fox News)

By    |   Friday, 19 Aug 2016 03:02 PM

Donald Trump may not be where he is now if it wasn't for outgoing campaign chairman Paul Manafort's efforts to line up delegates, leading to the New York businessman becoming his party's presidential candidate, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee said Friday.

"There is probably a story behind the story, but it doesn't matter, because Donald Trump is still the candidate," Huckabee, who backed Trump after dropping his own presidential campaign this year told Fox News' "Outnumbered" program. "He will still be Donald Trump and has people around him."

Manafort was initially hired by the Trump campaign to work as a convention consultant while there was still some speculation this summer about the Republican National Convention could become contested. He stayed on with the convention, becoming its campaign chairman and replacing controversial former manager Corey Lewandowski, who Trump fired about two months ago.

"Paul Manafort got him to the convention and [helped] bring those delegates to the magic number he had to have to be the nominee," said Huckabee. "I am not sure Donald Trump would be as successful had it not been for Manafort. Why he left I don't know, I haven't heard."

This week Trump effectively demoted Manafort when he promoted Republican pollster and senior campaign adviser Kellyanne Conway to the position of campaign manager, and Breitbart's Steve Bannon to become the campaign's CEO.

Manafort's resignation came amid revelations this week over his ties to Ukraine politicians and pro-Kremlin businessmen, with ledger reports surfacing over work he performed for former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and other officials supportive of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Trump's son, Eric, hinted strongly Friday that Manafort's decision was prompted by Trump, telling Fox Business Network's Maria Bartiromo that his father didn't want the veteran political operative's issues "looming over the campaign" as the general election approaches,

Huckabee, though, criticized the focus on Manafort's associations with Ukraine contacts, pointing out that Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton also has a history, especially with donations to the Clinton Foundation, that should be more closely scrutinized.

"Is it not lost on anyone that here is the press worried about someone who works for the candidate, and on the other side [there is] a candidate who has collected hundreds of millions of dollars through the family foundation, shaking down foreign government and corporations and doing favors through the government" Huckabee said. "Does that not bother anybody? The New York Times? The Washington Post?"

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Donald Trump may not be where he is now if it wasn't for outgoing campaign chairman Paul Manafort's efforts to line up delegates, leading to the New York businessman becoming his party's presidential candidate, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee said Friday.
mike huckabee, paul manafort, donald trump, delegates, campaign
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2016-02-19
Friday, 19 Aug 2016 03:02 PM
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