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"Get Me Roger Stone" filmmakers surprised Paul Manafort didn't cover his tracks better

Paul Manafort & Roger Stone
Roger Stone's influence on Paul Manafort 11:28

NEW YORK -- The documentary "Get Me Roger Stone" examines the rise, fall and resurgence of the colorful Republican operative and self-described "dirty trickster" in the political world.

Filmmakers Dylan Bank, Daniel DiMauro and Morgan Pehme joined CBSN Tuesday to discuss what they learned about Stone, a longtime Trump adviser who's had a hand in politics since the Nixon campaign, and also his longtime associate and business partner, Paul Manafort.

The film chronicles Stone's lobbying career from the beginning. It also features an appearance from Manafort, President Trump's former campaign chairman, who discusses the influence of his and Stone's lobbying firm. Manafort and his former business associate, Rick Gates, have been indicted in the special counsel investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Both men have pleaded not guilty to the charges.

CBS News' Anne-Marie Green asked if the filmmakers were surprised at the charges against Manafort.

"Not really," Bank said. "What did surprise me is that he didn't cover his tracks a little bit better. These guys are experts at jumping back and forth in the gray area of what's legal and what's illegal, and they've had a hand in moving the laws so far that you can get away with a great deal of legal chicanery."

Pehme said that Manafort subjected himself to this out of "pure hubris."

"If he had just gone about working overseas, this never would have been exposed, but he couldn't resist being in the limelight at the center of a presidential campaign -- making the president," Pehme said.

Manafort and Gates plead not guilty in special counsel probe 08:13

In an incident from the 1980s that shed light on Manafort's political and business maneuverings, he was accused of being part of a scheme to steer millions of dollars to Republican operatives through a New Jersey housing project. In a congressional hearing, Manafort said, "You could characterize this as influence peddling," when asked about his lobbying group.

In an interview for the documentary, Manafort said Stone was "one of the two or three people who strongly recommended him" to lead then-candidate Trump's campaign in the 2016 election. 

"Even after Roger stopped being the principal political adviser to Trump, he continued to be a very important adviser and is to this day," Manafort said.

Stone was back in the spotlight over the weekend after he unleashed a rant against CNN and anchor Don Lemon on Twitter, which resulted in his account being suspended. Stone said he plans to sue Twitter over the ban.

The rant came after CNN reported on the first charges filed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russia meddling.

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