Hey, Trump fans: Manafort indictment means your hero isn't perfect (and that's OK)

“Well I have much better judgment than she does. There's no question about that.”

Those were the words of then-candidate Donald Trump during the first presidential debate of the 2016 race. It wasn’t the first time he’d used that line or some variation of it.

But it particularly stuck out to me that evening and it was the first thing that jumped to mind Monday morning when I woke up (I’m not an early riser, now you know) to the news that former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and his former business partner Rick Gates had been indicted on 12 counts including conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money, unregistered agent of a foreign principal and making false statements, amongst others. Former Trump advisor George Papadopolous has now pled guilty to making false statements to the FBI in the Mueller probe directly related to Russian interference.

It’s not a good day for Team Trump.

To this end, if you didn’t want to get bogged down in Manafort’s swamp and, more to the point, benefit from his connections in the Russian/Ukrainian sphere, he doesn’t seem like a great pick for campaign manager. I know options are limited when you’re running a campaign based on fear, nativism and general bullsh*t, but Manafort serves a very specific purpose: he is part of the underworld of politics where dealing with other Trump campaign standouts like Carter Page and Roger Stone (who I imagine will be getting knocks on their doors from FBI agents very soon) is normal.

But you don’t need me to talk you through the Russian collusion story and where we go from here. Mueller is clearly doing his job and I’d love to see someone prove that this grand jury was full of Democrat donors who are currently laughing on a yacht with Bill Clinton throwing back champagne and FaceTiming Obama.

So if you love Trump, take a day off from tweeting about Uranium One and process the gravity of what’s going on here. It’s a big deal.

What I do think you need to hear from me is how important it is to admit that our political heroes are fallible and may not be what we want them to be.

I’m well aware of the fact that no one who is reading this and has heard me on air is confused about my views on Donald Trump. He was never qualified to run for president and shows us this every day.

Nevertheless, I respect the fact that he’s a hero to millions of Americans. He certainly turned the system on its head, and since it’s agreed on both sides of the aisle that Washington is broken, I can see why a disruptor candidate could appeal. This particular one holds views abhorrent to me, but so it goes. It’s not like I’d have been voting for Marco Rubio either.

The point is that it’s okay to admit that your political heroes aren’t always what you thought they were. I’ve always known Hillary Clinton was flawed and have been quite happy to talk about it on TV, even on Fox News where if I criticize her, there isn’t going to be anyone around to defend her in my place.

I still remember the day I said out loud and on national television that it looked like Hillary had lied about Benghazi. While she refused to join the Sunday show circuit and it was clear blaming the YouTube video wasn’t her idea, the email to Chelsea telling her that it seemed the attack had been committed by an al Qaeda-like group indicated to me that she knew, at the very least, that the video wasn’t sole reason for the raid. Fog of war is a real thing, but it smelled bad to me so I said so.

My Twitter timeline lit up with a mix of compliments for being honest and the usual haters wondering when I was going to join “the dark side.” (By the way, the GOP really is the dark side and I’m never coming.)

But nothing had changed for me because I always knew that Hillary was human, just like the rest of us. She makes mistakes and she even apologizes for most of them. If you haven’t read her book, “What Happened,” it’s worth it just to see some of those apologies.

To err is human. And it looks like Trump is majorly human this morning as he entrusted his campaign to a foreign agent with clear ties to Russians who wanted Trump sitting right where he is right now. I also have no doubt we’ll learn of many more serious errors as the Mueller investigation rolls on.

So if you love Trump, take a day off from tweeting about Uranium One and process the gravity of what’s going on here. It’s a big deal.

I know why I’m still able to support Hillary after Benghazi and any other “scandal” right wingers drum up. It’s critical to always check one’s support and she passes the bar each time. I’m also happy to debate anyone on the merits of her platform and her career of service. Just name the time and place.

Trump supporters will have to go through that process as we see increasing evidence that Russia gave a little more than a wink and a nod to the Trump campaign.

Admitting the humanness of our heroes is freeing, I promise.

Jessica Tarlov currently serves as a contributor for FOX News Channel (FNC), offering political analysis and insight across FNC and FOX Business Network’s (FBN) daytime and primetime programming. She joined the network in 2017.