The Trump White House was stunned this morning by the news that a "Paul Manafort" had been indicted and ordered to surrender by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Sources inside the administration described a "mad scramble" to determine who Paul Manafort is and what, if any, relevance he has to the Trump campaign or administration.
Said an official speaking on background: "We think he might be one of those Hollywood types--you know the kind. Right now we're pursuing the theory that he's an alias that Kevin Spacey uses. I mean--it's a long shot--but none of us have ever heard of the guy."
Other sources suspected that Manafort--allegedly a person with Kremlin ties--might have brokered the Uranium One deal which, so far as officials understood "gave the majority of the United State's strategic uranium reserves to Russia, allowing them to, according to one person highly placed in the Department of Energy, 'Strip-Mine most of North Dakota and relocate it to just outside of St. Petersburg."
"We don't know," said the official. "We're looking into this uranium thing and we believe this Manafort character might be associated. Are there pictures of him with the Clintons? We're going to find out."
According to others, however, pictures of Manafort had surfaced showing him in "close proximity" to Trump or Trump-campaign officials.
"We're not sure who in the picture is supposed to be the 'Peter Manafort' guy," said a White House press staffer. "We think it could be this dude in the background--he seems like a reporter--maybe a stalker? Maybe he works for CNN?"
As the mystery unravels further, the White House vowed to get to the bottom of Russian collusion between Hillary Clinton, the State Department, and Russian organized crime.
"We think it's pretty clear that there was an attempt to take over vast stretches of American land and resources and Clinton was selling that stuff off for her own pocket-book," said Ralph Lindham, a staffer for the National Security Council. "This goes deep. The FBI, the CIA, the NSA--these are all instruments of this whole Deep-State Leviathan. We've got to find it--and kill it. Whoever this 'Manifold' guy is? Probably related--OR--or this is a smear job to take some guy off the streets we've never heard of and try to 'stick him' to the Trump campaign like one of those glue-grenades in Saving Private Ryan. You know, you know--these deep-state traitors will try anything."
"Well, it won fly," Lindam said. "We've never heard of Many-pants and you can't re-write history at this point. Uh-UH."
Mr. Trump and other high ranking officials could not be reached for comment, allegedly being involved in the "stuffing of West Wing articles of value into carry-on bags and issuing numerous presidential pardons."