AP: In 2005 Putin Was Hired to ‘Greatly Benefit Putin’s Interests’
Paul Manafort has hired a crisis communication firm. He needs it as he clearly faces a crisis as Democrats on the House intel committee want him to testify before Congress.
“Paul Manafort, the former chairman of Donald Trump‘s presidential campaign, has hired a crisis communications firm.”
“The move comes as Manafort faces scrutiny over possible ties to Russia centered on his past consulting work for officials in Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych’s pro-Russia government.”
“Manafort’s new spokesman is Jason Maloni, a former senior vice president and chair of the litigation practice at Levick who formed his own firm, called JadeRoq, late last year.”
“Manafort on Monday said he “had no involvement” in Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election, including its email hacking of prominent Democratic groups and figures, and never spoke to Russian officials who claimed involvement.”
“The suggestion that I ever worked in concert with anyone to release hacked emails or sought to undermine the interests of the United States is false,” he said in a statement.
“Despite the constant scrutiny and innuendo, there are no facts or evidence supporting these allegations, nor will there be,” Manafort said, calling the issue a “blatant attempt to discredit me and the legitimacy of the election of Donald Trump.”
“Manafort has previously denied reports that he is under FBI investigation for his connections to Russia.”
“He has also said the Trump campaign had no involvement with the government of Vladimir Putin and denied playing a role in softening platform language about Russia’s annexation of Crimea and broader military actions in eastern Ukraine during last summer’s Republican National Convention.”
Notice how the goalposts keep moving. Before it was ‘I have no involvement with Russia’ but now it’s ‘I had no involvement with Russia’s interference in the 2016 campaign.’
He claims he had no role in softening the GOP plank but it’s hard to believe Carter Page didn’t. Does Manafort pretend ‘not to know’ Carter Page?
The Trump WH is now making it sound as if Manafort was some peripheral guy to the campaign. He was the campaign manager for four months during the time the GOP platform changed. This too is right out of the Nixon playbook as John Dean talked about on Chris Hayes the other night.
After Watergate, G. Gordon Liddy, Howard E. Hunt, and John Dean himself became bit players that Nixon barely knew. Maybe he had spoke to Dean once.
Another problem with the ‘low level with the campaign’ dismissal is that in 1972 Don Segretti was barely known of. Yet he wrote-and the 19 year old Roger Stone delivered the Canuck letter-that took at Ed Muskie, Nixon’s toughest possible opponent.
One of the problems for the Trumpsters is they keep changing their stories. If there was nothing there the truth would be their friend. Yet they keep on lying from Trump on down. Manafort claimed he never worked to serve Russian interests. Turns out that’s not the truth either:
“Paul Manafort, who ran President Donald Trump’s campaign from April to August 2016, secretly worked to “greatly benefit” Russian President Vladimir Putin’s interests a decade ago, according to documents obtained by the Associated Press.”
“In 2006, Manafort signed a $10 million annual contract with Russian oligarch and Putin ally Oleg Deripaska to “influence politics, business dealings and news coverage inside the United States, Europe and the former Soviet republics to benefit the Putin government,” the AP reports.
“We are now of the belief that this model can greatly benefit the Putin government if employed at the correct levels with the appropriate commitment to success,” Manafort wrote to Deripaska, an aluminum magnate, in a 2005 strategy memo.
“The bombshell report appears to contradict Manafort’s repeated denials that he worked to advance Russian political interests. The longtime lobbyist and onetime partner of Trump ally Roger Stone, was forced to resign as Trump’s campaign chairman after multiple reports revealed his work for deposed Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych and his pro-Russian Ukrainian party, including allegations(denied by Manafort) of $12.7 million in undisclosed payments made to Manafort.”
Shortly after the AP’s report, Manafort confirmed he had previously worked for Deripaska, but claimed it did not involve representing “Russian political interests.”
Yup. Goal posts are again dramatically moved. As for Manafort saying he was not involved with the anyone releasing hacked emails may or may not be true. It may be the case that this was more Roger Stone’s skill set. Manafort’s skill set was in directing the Trump campaign to better serve Russian policy goals.
But he was paid millions of dollars to ‘greatly advance Putin’s interests’ and what has advanced Putins’ interests more than the illegitimate election of Donald Trump?
P.S. As we saw in my poll out last week, the long awaited poll results are in, and right now I’m just 11 points down vs. Peter King (GOP-NY-District 2). And the voters don’t even know who I am yet.
There is nothing more important in getting answers to Trump-Russia collusion than a Democratic House in 2019. Please donate to help me in my part of the effort to fight for a Dem House.
Thank you. We must have a Dem House. And so, we will.