Trump Russian Controlled, Maddow Slams Manafort, Brought In To Raise Russian Money, Destroy Ukraine

The connections between former President Donald Trump, his campaign chairman Paul Manafort, and Russia have been a subject of significant interest and investigation, particularly in the context of the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election. The complexities of these connections and their implications have been explored in various investigations, most notably by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

Paul Manafort joined the Trump campaign in March 2016 and was appointed campaign chairman in May of the same year. Before his involvement in the Trump campaign, Manafort had long-standing ties to Russia and Ukraine, working as a political consultant. His most notable association was with Viktor Yanukovych, the pro-Russian former President of Ukraine, and his Party of Regions.

Manafort’s connections to Russia and Ukraine raised concerns about potential Russian influence in the Trump campaign. These concerns were amplified by the release of the Democratic National Committee’s hacked emails, which U.S. intelligence agencies concluded were part of a Russian interference effort in the 2016 election.

The Mueller investigation, which sought to uncover any links between the Trump campaign and Russia, revealed several key findings regarding Manafort:

  1. Financial Ties: Manafort had significant financial connections to Russian and Ukrainian figures, having received large payments for his consulting work in Ukraine.
  2. Sharing of Polling Data: The Mueller report disclosed that Manafort shared internal campaign polling data with Konstantin Kilimnik, identified as having ties to Russian intelligence. This raised questions about whether the data could have been used to assist Russian interference efforts.
  3. Trump Tower Meeting: In June 2016, Manafort attended a meeting at Trump Tower with a Russian lawyer who claimed to have damaging information on Hillary Clinton. This meeting has been scrutinized as potential evidence of the campaign’s willingness to accept Russian help.
  4. Allegations of Collusion: While the Mueller report did not establish that the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities, it outlined numerous contacts between campaign officials and individuals with ties to the Russian government, including Manafort’s interactions.
  5. Legal Consequences: Manafort was indicted on multiple charges, including tax and bank fraud related to his work in Ukraine. These charges, while not directly related to his work on the Trump campaign, emerged from the Mueller investigation’s broader scope.

Despite these findings, the Mueller report and subsequent investigations did not conclusively determine that the Trump campaign actively colluded with the Russian government to influence the election outcome. However, they did highlight a pattern of behavior and associations that brought Russia’s role in the 2016 election, and Manafort’s part in these events, under intense scrutiny.

The implications of these connections have been far-reaching, contributing to significant political and public discourse about the integrity of the electoral process, foreign interference in U.S. elections, and the nature of diplomatic relationships between the U.S., Russia, and Ukraine. The Manafort case underscores the complexities of international political consulting, the importance of transparency in campaign operations, and the vulnerabilities of democratic elections to foreign influence.

Manafort’s extensive work in Ukraine, especially with Viktor Yanukovych, a pro-Russian leader, had established him as a figure with deep ties in the region. These associations became particularly pertinent when the Democratic National Committee’s emails were hacked and released, events that U.S. intelligence agencies attributed to Russian operatives. The coinciding of Manafort’s role in the Trump campaign with these cyber attacks raised suspicions about potential Russian efforts to influence the election.

Further investigations unveiled Manafort’s financial entanglements with Russian and Ukrainian entities. Reports indicated that he owed substantial debts to Russian businessmen, which posed potential conflicts of interest during his time with the Trump campaign. These financial ties were seen as potentially making Manafort, and by extension, the Trump campaign, susceptible to Russian influence or coercion.

Moreover, Manafort’s involvement in the amendment of the Republican Party’s platform on Ukraine at the 2016 Republican National Convention added to the concerns. The amendment softened the party’s stance on Ukraine, advocating for less aggressive support against Russian aggression in the region, a move seen as favorable to Russian interests.

For a detailed analysis and comprehensive reporting on these matters, it’s advisable to refer to the Mueller report, news reports, and legal documents from the investigation, as they provide an extensive exploration of Paul Manafort’s connections and their broader political significance.

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