The Man Who Got Trump's Top Aide Paul Manafort Into GOP Politics Recalls the Budding Talent

The man who hired Paul Manafort to work for President Ford opens up.

— -- Paul Manafort has had a long career in Republican politics but he was introduced to a new campaign and a new audience this year.

"In '76 he was out of Georgetown Law not very long at all," McPherson told ABC News.

A university spokesperson confirmed to ABC News that Manafort graduated from Georgetown as an undergraduate in the business school in 1971 and then graduated from Georgetown Law School in 1974.

"I had known him when he was a young Republican. He's capable," McPherson said.

"In the decades since, he’s worked hard at all of this, and he’s played a role in a lot of conventions since," McPherson said.

McPherson, who has since left politics and is the president of the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, said that he hasn't worked with Manafort since 1980 at the end of Ford's presidency but recalled him being "a competent man."