Paul Manafort, the former campaign chairman for President Trump who was indicted on Monday, has ties to Rhode Island and Connecticut. Manafort was a campaign adviser to former Republican Governor Ed DiPrete and started his political career as a teenager in his hometown of New Britain, Connecticut.
Manafort faces a variety of charges, from conspiracy against the United States to conspiracy to launder money. Reacting on Twitter, President Trump said the alleged behavior happened, “years ago, before Paul Manafort was part of the Trump campaign.”
Back in 1984, Manafort was part of the campaign team that helped Cranston Mayor Ed DiPrete vault into the governor’s office. DiPrete’s pledge to be “The Change We Need” took on an ironic note when he was later convicted of corruption.
The conviction came after DiPrete won three two-year terms as governor. Manafort served as an adviser for each of those campaigns, even while building a growing stable of clients in the US and overseas.
But long before Manafort worked for DiPrete or Donald Trump, before he became a high powered Washington lobbyist and international political operative, he started learning politics at the age of 10. That’s when his father joined the New Britain Board of Aldermen.
As a teenager, Manafort worked on his father’s successful campaign for mayor of New Britain. The older Paul Manafort was a three-term Republican mayor, serving from 1965 to 1971, in a city that was dominated by Democrats.
In a 2016 interview with the Hartford Courant, Manafort said his father was a successful politician because he understood working-class Americans. Something he said Trump was also able to do in 2016. Manafort said his teenage days in New Britain were a galvanizing experience for him. He said that’s where he learned the nuts and bolts of a political campaign.