Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump's former campaign manager, is at the center of Senate Intelligence Committee investigations into alleged ties between Russia and people linked to Trump, according to The Wall Street Journal.
After Manafort left Trump's presidential campaign in August 2016, Manafort discussed with Trump a dossier of opposition research related to Russia. The Journal reported that it had not verified any information in the dossier, which was published online in January.
Information in the dossier alleged that Manafort and members of Trump's campaign worked with the Kremlin to get Trump to the White House.
In a statement, Manafort said he had no connection to Russian President Vladimir Putin "either directly or indirectly." At a press conference Thursday, Trump backed up Manafort's statement, calling Manafort "a respected man."
Manafort's ties to Russia include allegedly helping the Party of Regions in Ukraine in 2006 take power under now-ousted President Viktor Yanukovych, according to Daily Kos.
During his career, Manafort advised dictators in the Philippines and the Democratic Republic of Congo, and in the Ukraine, he pitched real-estate investment ideas to a gas baron who is now wanted on federal bribery charges. Manafort said that those instances were all "examples of me behaving properly and being criticized for political reasons," the Journal reported.
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