"What was your role in the Republican platform's call for bombing North Korea?"
Manafort to Todd: "I had none."
What's the takeaway from this hypothetical conversation? Manafort validated Todd's assertion that there is a plan for bombing, while claiming to have had no part in it. But the facts show there never was any such plan in the first place. Todd asked a trick question, and Manafort fell for it.
The subject is not North Korea, but Ukraine and the recent Clinton allegations that Trump is in cahoots with Vladimir Putin.
Huffington Post ran the headline, "Trump Pushed for GOP to Change Ukraine Position." This supports the ongoing Clinton suggestion that Trump is tainted by his alleged connections with Vladimir Putin. HuffPost went on to say, "The pro-Russia change was the only party platform tweak the Trump camp cared about, sources say."
Now to the true-life interaction between Manafort and Todd: Sunday morning, July 31, Manafort appeared with Todd on Meet the Press. Todd brought up the platform issue of sending lethal weaponry to Ukraine.
He asked, "How much influence did you have on changing that language?"
Manafort answered, "I had none."
Bingo. That's the same trick from the North Korea analogy. It's almost like the old "when did you stop beating your wife?" joke question. Todd set up a false premise and cast an aspersion of Manafort's complicity.
But, instead of denying the legitimacy of the premise, Manafort's first response was to deny his culpability. In doing so, he validated the false premise.
Manafort added, "In fact I didn't even hear about it until after our convention was over." Again, another validation of the false premise.
What Manafort should have told Todd right off the bat is: "There was no such change in the platform."
This Meet the Press exchange is covered in an August 1 TMP story titled "Changed GOP Platform on Ukraine." While this article piles-on Manafort over Todd's allegations, it also, perhaps unwittingly, sabotage's the Todd-TMP premise of a platform change.