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McClatchy: Flight Records Show Manafort Made 18 Moscow Trips

Image: McClatchy: Flight Records Show Manafort Made 18 Moscow Trips
Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort (Matt Rourke/AP)

By    |   Thursday, 23 November 2017 03:44 PM

Flight records reveal Paul Manafort made at least 18 trips to Moscow and another 19 to the Ukrainian capital of Kiev while working as a consultant for Vladimir Putin allies, oligarchs, and pro-Kremlin parties before he joined President Donald Trump's campaign, according to a McClatchy exclusive report Thursday.

It is those connections he potentially brought to the campaign years later that have the attention of Robert Mueller's FBI special counsel investigators looking into Russian influence in the 2016 presidential election.

"You can make a case that all along he . . . was either working principally for Moscow, or he was trying to play both sides against each other just to maximize his profits," former Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Fried, who communicated with Manafort amid his work with Ukraine during former President George W. Bush's administration, told McClatchy.

"He's at best got a conflict of interest, and at worst is really doing Putin's bidding."

The question for Mueller's investigation is whether Manafort used those ties with Putin and Russia to collude for President Trump's campaign against Hillary Clinton, as McClatchy reported.

Those suspicions were aroused from the controversial and unsubstantiated dossier written on President Trump by former MI-6 officer Christopher Steele, who "quoted an ethnic Russian close to Trump as saying Manafort had managed 'a well-developed conspiracy of cooperation' between the campaign and the Kremlin," according to the report. It has been revealed that dossier was funded by the Democratic National Committee amid Clinton's presidential campaign.

Manafort's spokesman Jason Maloni rebuked the "false" collusion allegations, telling McClatchy that Manafort "never – ever – worked for the Russian government," while refusing to say whether Manafort met with any Russian government officials while in Moscow.

"Paul Manafort did not collude with the Russian government to undermine the 2016 election," Maloni told McClatchy. "No amount of wishing and hoping by his political opponents will make this spurious allegation true."

Both Manafort and his former associate Richard Gates were indicted on charges of conspiracy against the United States, tax fraud, and money laundering from their ties to the Ukraine. They had been granted a limited release for the Thanksgiving holiday, according to The Hill.

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Records reveal Paul Manafort made 18 flights to Moscow and those connections have the attention of Robert Mueller's FBI special counsel investigators looking into Russian influence in the 2016 presidential election.
paul manafort, robert mueller, investigation, moscow
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2017-44-23
Thursday, 23 November 2017 03:44 PM
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