Paul Manafort has worked with a long roster of individuals during his career, including, but not limited to, Washington lobbyists, Middle Eastern arms dealers, and Ukrainian politicians. In The Atlantic’s March cover story, Atlantic national correspondent Franklin Foer names a litany of characters in Manafort’s career. In alphabetical order by last name, here is an introduction to some of the main figures in Manafort’s world.
An Alabama lawyer whom Paul Manafort had promised to support to replace his friend, Roger Stone, as the head of the Young Republicans in 1979. Manafort instead undermined Acker’s campaign when Acker didn’t comply with demands to swear loyalty to then-presidential candidate Ronald Reagan.
Abdul Rahman Al Assir
An arms dealer from Lebanon and Manafort’s close friend. Manafort suggested to his firm partners at Black, Manafort, Stone, and Kelly that Al Assir might help connect their business to clients around the world.
Prince Bandar bin Sultan Al Saud
The Saudi Arabian ambassador to the United States from 1983 to 2005. When Bandar attended the 1984 Republican National Convention, Manafort arranged for the Saudi to arrive at the presidential entrance.
A legendary negative campaigner who went to work for Manafort’s firm Black, Manafort, and Stone in 1984. He was infamous for pioneering race-baiting tactics, and later became the chief strategist for George H. W. Bush.
James A. Baker III
A seasoned Republican insider who partnered with Manafort to protect Gerald Ford’s renomination bid against Ronald Reagan during the Republican National Convention of 1976. He served as chief of staff under Ronald Reagan and secretary of state under George H. W. Bush.
A founding partner of Black, Manafort, and Stone, and a veteran of the Young Republicans. He has advised Reagan, George H. W. Bush, John McCain, and Mitt Romney.
A partner at Manafort’s firm Davis, Manafort, and Freedman. Davis managed a referendum campaign that resulted in the independence of Montenegro. While Davis went on leave to manage John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign, Manafort set up the private-equity firm Pericles and listed Davis’ name on a deal without his knowledge.
A Russian billionaire. Having worked together before, Manafort persuaded Deripaska to commit $100 million to the investment firm Pericles. When his net worth plummeted after the 2008 financial crisis, Deripaska insisted that Manafort return his money. Deripaska has close ties to Vladimir Putin.
One of Manafort’s deputies in Russia, who had worked at Black, Manafort, and Stone. Manafort appointed Gates to lead the private-equity firm Pericles. Last year, both Manafort and Gates were indicted for failing to register as agents of a foreign power.
A partner at Black, Manafort, Stone and Kelly. He is the former finance chairman of the Democratic National Committee.
A billionaire Saudi arms dealer. He was the middleman in the Iran-Contra deal, and the brother-in-law of Al Assir.
Andrea and Jessica Manafort
Manafort’s daughters. In text messages that were later stolen by a “hacktivist collective” and posted on the dark web, they discussed their father’s depression and emotional breakdown.
Paul Manafort, Sr.
Manafort’s father. Manafort, Sr. was the charismatic mayor of New Britain, Connecticut. In 1981, he was charged with perjury for testimony that he had given in a municipal corruption investigation.
The autocratic president of the Philippines. U.S. congressional support for Marcos’ regime dissipated after the assassination of his chief opposition leader. Marcos hired Manafort to improve his image in the U.S. He ruled under martial law until 1986.
Nathaniel Philip Victor James Rothschild
The British-born financier and member of the Rothschild banking family. Rothschild hired Manafort’s firm Davis, Manafort, and Freedman to revive the influence of an exiled Georgian politician who was a former KGB operative and friend of Deripaska. He is the heir to the title Baron Rothschild.
An Angolan guerrilla leader. Black, Manafort, and Stone polished Savimbi’s image, depicting him as a “freedom fighter” in the United States, despite his army committing atrocities against children and conscripting women into sexual slavery.
A partner at Black, Manafort, and Stone now known for his Republican opposition research and conspiracy theories. In 1977, Manafort managed Stone’s candidacy for chairman of the Young Republicans. He was an advisor to Nixon after his resignation and to Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential election. Alongside Manafort, Stone was investigated by the FBI for contacts with Russian agents during the election.
The former president of Ukraine. Yanukovych lost his bid for the presidency during the Orange Revolution in 2004, but Manafort helped Yanukovych’s party succeed two years later in the parliamentary elections. When Yanukovych won the presidency in 2010, he gave Manafort “walk in” privileges that allowed him open entry into the presidential offices. He was ousted in the 2014 Ukrainian revolution.
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