Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Case Of Former Trump Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort And His Russian Connections

NPR: Former Trump Campaign Head Manafort Was Paid Millions By A Putin Ally, AP Says

A Russian billionaire paid former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort millions of dollars to boost the interests of Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Associated Press reports. The new allegations arise months after Manafort resigned from the campaign amid concerns over his work for a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine.

"According to documents that we've reviewed, Paul Manafort secretly worked for a Russian oligarch who wanted him to promote Russian interests," the AP's Chad Day tells NPR's Rachel Martin. "And in particular, he wrote a memo that outlined this kind of vast plan for him to promote Russian interests in the former Soviet republics — and also to specifically benefit the Putin government."

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WNU Editor: The Russians are denying this story .... Kremlin says new report linking Trump team to Moscow ‘defies reason’ (Washington Times). More denials here .... Kremlin denies any involvement in Manafort-Deripaska contacts (TASS). There is also some good background information on Paul Manafort here .... Trump Just Hired His Next Scandal (Eli Lake, Bloomberg). When the story first broke out I avoided it because a good part of the case against Paul Manafort was coming from Ukrainian sources .... Paul Manafort, Former Trump Campaign Chief, Faces New Allegations in Ukraine (New York Times). I have one rule when it comes to Ukrainian sources .... always be sceptical. But the Cyprus bank revelations are new .... and these revelations are "independent" from Russian and Ukrainian pressures. I also know that the banking system in Cyprus is favoured by many Russian oligarchs who like to move money around .... so if they were to pay some money to someone like Paul Manafort .... they would use that system. But the problem with this entire Manafort story is that there is really no evidence of any collusion between Russia and the Trump team .... just claims based on what the people who are investigating this case believe happened. They is also another big problem with this story .... doing business with Russian oligarchs (which is what the Russians and Manafort are claiming) .... is still not against the law. In fact .... U.S. - Russian business activities (even with sanctions) is now a huge business, that now involves literally everyone who makes up the who's who list in America's business community .... and this also includes the political establishment in Washington. In this context .... Paul Manafort is really a small fish, and the only reason why the focus is now on him is because of his Trump connection. If he was not Trump's former campaign chairman .... this would not even be a story. My prediction .... this is going to be President Trump's next scandal .... and it is going to be a tough one to defend. The image and optics of your campaign manager receiving millions of dollars from associates who know President Putin directly is not a good one .... even if you broke no laws nor violated any rules. And as to the question .... were laws broken .... the FBI are going to have their work cut out for them because no one on the Russian side is going to talk .... and I doubt that Paul Manafort is going to be accommodating. But politically .... for President Trump .... this is going to hurt, and for the media .... they are not going to avoid this story.

More News On The Case Of Former Trump Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort And His Russian Connections

US probes banking of ex-Trump campaign chief -- AP
US agents have obtained documents on Paul Manafort in eastern Europe inquiry -- The Guardian
US probes Manafort’s banking: report -- The Hill
Paul Manafort Once Worked to ‘Benefit the Putin Government’: Report -- NBC
Donald Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort 'tried to hide' £600000 payment, claims Ukrainian lawmaker -- The Telegraph
Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort secretly influenced US politics to benefit Vladimir Putin -- International Business Times
Trump Campaign Chief Paul Manafort Linked to Putin Interests -- The Quint
White House struggles with questions about the Russia scandal -- MSNBC
Trump ex-aide Paul Manafort 'offered to help Putin' -- BBC
A look at Cyprus banks, now tied to ex-Trump campaign chief -- AP
Who is Oleg Deripaska? Paul Manafort Allegedly Worked With Russian Magnate to Advance Putin's Interests -- Newsweek
Paul Manafort is at the center of the Trump-Russia investigation — here's what you need to know about him -- Business Insider
Kremlingate Creeps Closer to Trump -- Tim Dickinson, Rolling Stone

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