June 26, 2017

Trump campaign chief linked to Putin interests

03 April 2017, 03:29 | Clarence Schmidt

Matt Rourke Associated Press File 2016 Paul Manafort who was campaign chairman for President Trump has denied the latest accusations

Paul Manafort who was campaign chairman for President Trump has denied the latest accusations

Building on his work for Ukraine, he proposed to expand Russian influence in other former Soviet Republics by lobbying "the highest levels of the USA government - the White House, Capitol Hill and the State Department".

For his part, Manafort denied the report, in spite of the documents uncovered by the AP.

While Manafort's paid contract with Oleg Deripaska appears to have ended in 2009, he formulated a written plan to ease the economic sanctions imposed on Russian Federation which he proposed in a memo sent directly to the billionaire.

"I worked with Oleg Deripaska nearly a decade ago representing him on business and personal matters in countries where he had investments". Deripaska ultimately awarded Manafort a $10 million contract, paid not to his public consulting firm but to an obscure corporation registered out of Manafort's home.

Deripaska, one of the richest men in Russian Federation, is considered to be one of Putin's closest allies.

Nunes' accusations are important - not only because they suggest even more Trump campaign officials were under investigation, but also because under US law, the intelligence community usually can not surveil the calls of USA persons without a warrant from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, according to Bloomberg. House beefs up cellphone security MORE (D-Va.), the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, and Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.), a member of the House Intelligence Committee, have called for Manafort to come before their respective committees.

In response to their report, Day and Horwitz quote a statement from Manafort in which he confirmed that he worked for Deripaska - but he also said that characterizing the work as "inappropriate or nefarious" amounted to a "smear campaign".

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Gates, whose name does not appear in the documents, told the AP that he joined Manafort's firm in 2006 and was aware Manafort had a relationship with Deripaska, but he was not aware of the work described in the memos.

The disclosure comes as Trump campaign advisers are the subject of an FBI probe and two congressional investigations.

It was not immediately clear what time period of Manafort's transactions was covered under the request from the Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.

Discussing Deripaska's ties to Putin, Day cites WikiLeaks cables that showed US officials referring to Deripaska as "one of the top two or three oligarchs that are very close to him". "My work for Mr. Deripaska did not involve representing Russian political interests". Manafort told a colleague this year that he continues to speak to Trump by telephone.

Manafort officially resigned from his position as Trump's campaign chairman in late August. Gates has since helped plan Trump's inauguration and now runs a non-profit organisation, America First Policies, to back the White House agenda. We already knew that former campaign chair Paul Manafort had worked for pro-Russian Ukrainian politicians.

'I have spoken directly to the president and other senior officials about this, ' Conway said.

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