More from Democratic Underground on this troubling story which seems to be gaining global traction.
Paul Manafort has worked for a pro-Russian Ukrainian Candidate and pursued business deals in the old Soviet Union and now works for Donald Trump… last week at the Republican National Convention language was removed from the Republican Platform critical of Putin and his Ukrainian position; to make sure the new Republican platform won’t call for giving weapons to Ukraine to fight Russian and rebel forces…
Donald J. Trump said it was a “great honor” to be complimented by Russia’s Vladimir Putin. What’s significant is what the New York businessman has done to earn this praise. He pursued deals in the old Soviet Union and Russia and, as a presidential candidate, has hired little-known “experts” like Carter Page, an adviser to Russian gas company Gazprom.
Another curious Trump hire is Republican insider Paul Manafort, a “fixer” who has a history of doing business in the former Soviet Union. After taking a job as Trump’s delegate hunter, Manafort swiftly accused Trump’s main opponent, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), of using Gestapo-like tactics in the presidential race.
But it’s Manafort who has something to explain and answer for. He did consulting work in Ukraine for the pro-Russian candidate, Victor Yanukovych. Manafort was called “Ukraine’s Fixer” when the country was under the yoke of Moscow, the Russians were desperate to remain in control, and the people of Ukraine were crying out for freedom and ties to the West.
Paul Manafort has a history of working for strong men.
Over a 40-year career as a lobbyist and political consultant, Manafort and his firms have advised, in no particular order, a business group tied to Ferdinand Marcos, the dictator of the Philippines; Viktor Yanukovych, the ousted Ukrainian president and ally of Vladimir Putin; and Lynden Pindling, the former Bahamian prime minister who was accused of ties to drug traffickers.
Now, he works for Donald Trump.
Manafort accepted $900,000 yearly to lobby for Ferdinand Marcos. He was also involved in lobbying for Siad Barre of Somalia, and Mobutu Sese Seko of Zaïre. His firm also lobbied on behalf of the governments of the Dominican Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Kenya (between $660-750,000 yearly 1991 and 1993), and Nigeria ($1 million in 1991). These activities led Manafort’s firm to be listed amongst the top five lobbying firms receiving money from human-rights abusing regimes in the report “The Torturer’s Lobby.”
Manafort wrote the campaign strategy for Edouard Balladur in the 1994 elections, and admitted to having been paid under the table (at least $200,000). The money was transferred to him through his friend, Lebanese arms-dealer Abdul Rahman al-Assir, from middle-men fees paid for arranging the sale of three French Agosta class submarines to Pakistan, in a scandal known as the Karachi Affair.
Manafort received $700,000 from the Kashmiri American Council between 1990 and 1994, supposedly to promote the plight of the Kashmiri people. However, an FBI investigation revealed the money was actually from Pakistan’s Inter-Service Intelligence agency as part of a “false flag” operation to divert attention from terrorism. A former Pakistani ISI official claimed Manafort was aware of the nature of the operation. While producing a documentary as part of the deal, Manafort interviewed several Indian officials while pretending to be a CNN reporter.
In the late 1980s, Manafort was criticized for using his connections at HUD to ensure funding for a $43 million rehabilitation of dilapidated housing in Seabrook, N.J. Manafort’s firm received a $326,000 fee for its work in getting HUD approval of the grant largely through personal influence with Deborah Gore Dean, an executive assistant to former HUD Secretary Samuel R. Pierce, Jr.
Dropping threatening language from the GOP platform is just the sort of bonus Moscow expects from its man Donald.
Excited by Donald Trump’s pledge to promote “easing of tensions and improved relations with Russia,” the Kremlin establishment earlier this month invited Trump adviser Carter Page to speak before graduating students of the New Economic School. Page did not disappoint. In his remarks, Page condemned current American policy for its “often-hypocritical focus on democratization, inequality, corruption and regime change.” When a Russian student asked Page whether he really believed that American society was liberal and democratic, Trump’s adviser grinned and delivered a line that might have come from Vladimir Putin himself. “I surround the word ‘liberal’ with quotes,” he said. ”I tend to agree with you that it’s not always as liberal as it may seem,” he said. “I’m with you.”
Trump has praised Putin, and vice-versa. What’s more, one of his top advisers on national security matters, retired Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, the former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), has been embarrassed by revelations that he went to Moscow to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Russian propaganda channel Russia Today (RT) and sat next to Putin at a gala dinner. Flynn was being considered as Trump’s vice-presidential nominee.
The Trump campaign worked behind the scenes last week to make sure the new Republican platform won’t call for giving weapons to Ukraine to fight Russian and rebel forces, contradicting the view of almost all Republican foreign policy leaders in Washington.
Throughout the campaign, Trump has been dismissive of calls for supporting the Ukraine government as it fights an ongoing Russian-led intervention. Trump’s campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, worked as a lobbyist for the Russian-backed former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych for more than a decade.
Still, Republican delegates at last week’s national security committee platform meeting in Cleveland were surprised when the Trump campaign orchestrated a set of events to make sure that the GOP would not pledge to give Ukraine the weapons it has been asking for from the United States.
According to a report form The Washington Post, the Donald Trump campaign intervened during the drafting of the Republican platform to try to remove an anti-Russia and anti-Vladimir Putin amendment.
During last week’s national security committee platform meeting, committee member Diana Denman introduced an amendment in support of Ukrainian opposition to Putin’s invasion of Crimea and backing military aid to the country. “Today, the post-Cold War ideal of a ‘Europe whole and free’ is being severely tested by Russia’s ongoing military aggression in Ukraine,” the amendment read. “The Ukrainian people deserve our admiration and support in their struggle.”
Candidate’s fondness for Russia raises concerns about U.S. interests
Long before Donald Trump clinched the Republican presidential nomination, he had a singular admiration for Russian President Vladimir Putin’s brand of leadership.
As the casino magnate got closer to sweeping the GOP primaries, he began to surround himself with advisers such as campaign manager Paul Manafort, a former lobbyist whose clients included Russian oligarchs and the deposed Ukrainian president who fled to Russia, and retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who once appeared at a dinner banquet with Putin.
The latest signal that Trump doesn’t intend to challenge Russian aggression came 24 hours before he was to officially accept the Republican nomination in Cleveland, when he told The New York Times that he doesn’t believe the United States should necessarily intervene to protect NATO members such as the Baltic states, which fear a Ukrainian-style Russian incursion.
– See more at: http://www.rollcall.com/news/policy/trump-camp-playing-russian-roulette-embracing-putin#sthash.wayfmyS3.dpuf