Day 21- Manafort’s connection to Russia

Who is Paul Manafort?

Manafort was Trump’s former Campaign Chairman, who eventually stepped down after 5 months as this past was starting to become a distraction. There are several reports that while he stepped down publically, behind the scenes he was still very much in Trump’s ear.

Info on Manafort before the scandals and another profile on him during the election

The newest  reported links to him and Putin

In an AP Exclusive- Manafort had a plan to benefit Putin’s government

President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, secretly worked for a Russian billionaire to advance the interests of Russian President Vladimir Putin a decade ago and proposed an ambitious political strategy to undermine anti-Russian opposition across former Soviet republics, The Associated Press has learned. The work appears to contradict assertions by the Trump administration and Manafort himself that he never worked for Russian interests.

Manafort proposed in a confidential strategy plan as early as June 2005 that he would influence politics, business dealings and news coverage inside the United States, Europe and the former Soviet republics to benefit the Putin government, even as U.S.-Russia relations under Republican President George W. Bush grew worse. 

Manafort pitched the plans to Russian aluminum magnate Oleg Deripaska, a close Putin ally with whom Manafort eventually signed a $10 million annual contract beginning in 2006, according to interviews with several people familiar with payments to Manafort and business records obtained by the AP. Manafort and Deripaska maintained a business relationship until at least 2009, according to one person familiar with the work.

“We are now of the belief that this model can greatly benefit the Putin Government if employed at the correct levels with the appropriate commitment to success,” Manafort wrote in the 2005 memo to Deripaska. The effort, Manafort wrote, “will be offering a great service that can re-focus, both internally and externally, the policies of the Putin government.”

Manafort’s plans were laid out in documents obtained by the AP that included strategy memoranda and records showing international wire transfers for millions of dollars. How much work Manafort performed under the contract was unclear.

member of the intelligence committee, Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., said the disclosure “undermines the groundless assertions that the administration has been making that there are no ties between President Trump and Russia. This is not a drip, drip, drip” situation, she said. “This is now dam-breaking with water flushing out with all kinds of entanglements.”

Manafort’s work with Deripaska continued for years, though they had a falling out laid bare in 2014 in a Cayman Islands bankruptcy court. The billionaire gave Manafort nearly $19 million to invest in a Ukrainian TV company called Black Sea Cable, according to legal filings by Deripaska’s representatives. It said that after taking the money, Manafort and his associates stopped responding to Deripaska’s queries about how the funds had been used.

Here is Manafort in his own words trying to deny any Trump ties to Russia- are you convinced?

 

The Trump White House attempted to separate themselves from Manafort, as well Flynn

Manafort “played a limited role for a limited amount of time”

Limited Role? Chairman of the Campaign is a limited role? He was the head of the campaign for 5 months, and there are new reports that even after the resignation, he continued to play a role behind the scenes. Physically, Manafort never really went anywhere: He owns an apartment in Trump Tower.  This report also suggests that he was a major factor behind his cabinet picks as well.

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In addition to his connections to Russia, there are also his links to former pro-Russian Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych. Ukrainian lawmaker Sergii Leshchenko claims a document found in a safe in Kiev may be evidence that Manafort tried to mask payments to him from Yanukovych’s party.He also worked on a campaign in the Ukraine that helped a pro-Russia candidate that had similar techniques to the Trump election. For more on Ukraine and Manafort

From NPR

“Manafort’s consulting work in Ukraine was already under a microscope, given Trump’s favorable comments about Russian President Vladimir Putin, an ally of Yanukovych. Trump raised eyebrows last month when he said he would consider recognizing Russia’s annexation of Crimea. Russia invaded the Ukrainian territory in 2014 after Yanukovych was ousted in a pro-Western revolt.

“The Trump campaign also worked to weaken language in the GOP platform on aid to Ukraine’s post-Yanukovych government. At the campaign’s urging, platform language calling for the U.S. to provide ‘lethal defensive weapons’ to Ukraine was watered down to ‘appropriate assistance.’ “

I say where there is smoke there is fire, and this is turning out to be a ginormous dumpster fire that is threatening to take down the entire democracy of the United States

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