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Paul Manafort joins the 'flippers,' making Trump's week way, way worse

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Analysis by Leigh Munsil, CNN

President Donald Trump got some very bad news Friday, when his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort pleaded guiltyto two counts, including one related to witness tampering.

The real danger for Trump lies in Manafort's decisionto cooperate with the Justice Department. The revelation that Manafort has joined the growing list of "flippers"inspecial counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russia's 2016 election interferenceis a massive development, Chris Cillizza writes-- bringing investigators ever closer to the President and his inner circle.

The news must surely come as a blow to Trump, whoonly a month agocalled Manafort a "brave man" who would not "make up stories in order to get a 'deal.' " The President watched coverage of Manafort's plea deal on television from the White House residence, CNN's Jeff Zeleny reported, per a person familiar, and was extraordinarily quiet on Twitter throughout the day. Asked about Trump's mood in the wake of this, an official who had spoken to him declined to say.

On the other side of the split screen, a week that started with the country on edge as Hurricane Florence approached the East Coast now ends with slow and steady devastation in the Carolinas. The storm's"violent grind" is set to continue through the weekend, depositing 40 inches of rain in some areas -- and dominating the airwaves and attention of the nation.

Prior to Florence's landfall,Trump was occupied Thursday with last year's Hurricane Maria -- specifically, denying the Puerto Rican government's accepted death toll of 2,975 people. He offered zero evidence for his claim.Trump has consistently denied any fault for his administration in Maria's aftermath -- and now, with the United States battered by another deadly storm, the Trump administration will be tested yet again.

Next week, the battle over Trump's Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh will come to a head, as a last-minute allegation of assault threatens to derail his confirmation process.The judiciary panel is scheduled to consider Kavanaugh's nomination next Thursday.

Summer's over, folks. Here's a look back at the week, in 18 standout headlines.

Monday

Trump urges precautions ahead of 'very bad' Hurricane Florence

Sessions criticizes immigrants' attorneys before immigration judges

Trump open to meeting North Korea's Kim again despite lack of denuclearization progress

Tuesday

EPA to roll back Obama-era laws on methane leak inspections and repairs

Trump pays sober tribute to 9/11 after Russia tweets, fist pumps

Gary Cohn and Rob Porter push back on Woodward book

Trump: Puerto Rico hurricane response 'an incredible, unsung success'

Trump's previously announced visit to Ireland in question

Trump Jr. on Mueller probe: 'I know what I did, and I'm not worried'

Wednesday

Trump signs measure punishing election interference

FEMA says funding transferred to ICE for detention centers won't harm hurricane response

Thursday

Trump falsely claims nearly 3,000 Americans in Puerto Rico 'did not die'

Politico: FEMA administrator under investigation for travel

Committee vote delayed for SCOTUS nominee Kavanaugh to next week

US announces new North Korea sanctions

Friday

Ocasio-Cortez to Trump: 'My own grandfather died' after Hurricane Maria

Paul Manafort pleads guilty, agrees to cooperate with Mueller

Woman accuses Kavanaugh of assault in letter to senator