Trump’s Russia connection became too hot when his campaign chair Paul Manafort’s ties to Ukraine’s pro-Russian government were exposed. Manafort has now “resigned,” but Trump’s own praise of Putin and his invitation to Russian hackers to conduct espionage against the U.S. remain.
But this doesn’t change the fact that Trump himself has spent the entire campaign parroting Putin’s talking points.
With Manafort out, we can safely say: Welcome to the new Trump campaign, same as the old Trump campaign.
UPDATE (8/19/16): Statements from the Clinton campaign and DNC cement the point.
“Despite today’s latest staff shake-up, Donald Trump’s campaign still maintains strong ties to Russia and pro-Kremlin elements. At least a half-dozen of Trump’s remaining aides have Russian connections, and let’s not forget about his own financial interests in the region, as well as his repeated praise for Putin.”
“Paul Manafort’s resignation is a clear admission that the disturbing connections between Donald Trump’s team and pro-Kremlin elements in Russia and Ukraine are untenable. But this is not the end of the story. It’s just the beginning. You can get rid of Manafort, but that doesn’t end the odd bromance Trump has with Putin. Trump still has to answer serious questions hovering over his campaign given his propensity to parrot Putin’s talking points, the roster of advisers like Carter Page and Mike Flynn with deep ties to Russia, the recent Russian government hacking and disclosure of Democratic Party records, and reports that Breitbart published articles advocating pro-Kremlin positions on Ukraine. It’s also time for Donald Trump to come clean on his own business dealings with Russian interests, given recent news reports about his web of deep financial connections to business groups with Kremlin ties.”