Paul Manafort, former campaign chair for President Donald Trump’s successful 2016 campaign, has been hospitalized in response to a cardiac event, per ABC News. According to the ABC News report, Manafort has been recovering from the incident since Thursday, December 12. Sources close to the former campaign chair say that during his recovery, he was observed by correctional officers — and that he has stabilized and is expected to see release in the near future.
This is not the first time Manafort’s health has been a matter of some concern in recent years. According to a report from NBC News, Manafort appeared in ill health during an appearance in Virginia federal court on October 19 of last year, being confined to a wheelchair and missing his right shoe. His complexion was described as “visibly grayer” by writer Danny Cevallos and Manafort’s legal counsel sought advanced consideration of his health during his sentencing, hoping to expedite the process and land their client in a medically appropriate facility.
Manafort was supposed to make an appearance in court on Wednesday, December 18, but is not expected to make that court date. His lawyer — Todd Blanche, who has represented Manafort ever since his conviction for financial fraud — had no updates to offer on his client’s medical condition when approached by news outlets, stating that he had not spoken with Manafort since early last week. However, Blanche also indicated that he had been apprised of his client’s current status on the afternoon of Tuesday, December 17.
Despite his health problems as of late, critics of the convicted former campaign chair have been scathing in their response to this latest news. The Daily Beast’s editor-at-large, Molly Jong-Fast, took this recent news as an opportunity to take a rhetorical swipe at both Rudy Giuliani and President Trump, writing, “Someone remind Rudy Giuliani how loyalty is rewarded in trumpworld.”
Left-inclined political pundit Bill Palmer seemed to echo this sentiment with his own remarks.
“Rick Gates sold Trump out and got just 45 days in prison. Paul Manafort stayed loyal to Trump and he’s dying in solitary confinement for it. Let that be a lesson to every Trump underling who’s trying to decide whether to cut a plea deal and cooperate.”
On the other side of the political spectrum, some well-wishers offered up their support for Manafort, as conservative commentator Todd Starnes said he would pray for the former campaign chair.
Manafort made headlines on December 17 not only for news of his health concerns, but also for his former association with Rick Gates. Gates, another former Trump campaign aide who served as deputy campaign chairman, was sentenced Tuesday morning in response to his conviction for conspiracy and making false statements. Per Business Insider, Gates faces a sentence of 45 days in jail, as well as 3 years probation. Additionally, he has been fined $20,000.
Given that Manafort and Gates were prominent business partners, both items of news have seemingly reignited interest in their respective dealings.