BOSTON (CBS) –  Take someone who’s been running a fairly small, closely-held family business for years and put them in charge of, first, a complex, fast-evolving national political campaign, and then, the United States of America, and would it be unreasonable to expect some… managerial miscues?

No, it wouldn’t be.

And one thing we’ve learned over the past couple of years about Donald J. Trump is that his miscues include some dubious hiring decisions.

Take Paul Manafort, the political fixer brought in to manage the Trump campaign from June 2016 until his firing in August.

The indictment of Manafort (and his crony Rick Gates) portrays the man as sketchy, dirty, greedy and sloppy, to say the least.

Failing to obey lobbying laws, lying on official forms, lying to investigators, clumsily laundering money, and sloppily defrauding banks – these allegations reek of arrogance and rank incompetence.

Paul Manafort. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

One jaw-dropping example: in 2012, the indictment alleges, Manafort bought a condo in Manhattan and began using it as an Airbnb, helping himself to the tax benefits of owning a rental property.

In 2015 he sought a mortgage on the condo, and because he could get a bigger loan if the place were owner-occupied, he lied to the bank that it was a second home being used by his daughter and her husband, not a rental. In advance of a bank appraiser’s visit, he emailed the son-in-law: “remember, he believes that you and [Manafort’s daughter] are living there.”


And then there’s George Papadopolous, the clueless Trump campaign adviser who’s committing seemingly every last detail of his relentless pursuit of Trump-Russia détente to email, the better for the feds to subsequently snare him in a perjury trap.

Read the Manafort indictment and the Papadopolous plea deal for yourself.

They offer profiles in stupidity and carelessness that, whatever we might learn in the future, beg a question of the man who signed off on hiring them – what were you thinking?

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