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RussiaMarch 13 2022, 8:37 am

Donald Trump’s Former Campaign Manager and Russian Influence Operations against Ukraine

US inde­pen­dent news out­let ProP­ub­li­ca has pub­lished a review of the role played by for­mer Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s cam­paign chair­man Paul Man­afort in ear­ly Russ­ian efforts to under­mine Ukrain­ian inde­pen­dence. Accord­ing to the ProP­ub­li­ca report:

March 1, 2022 Though Russia’s full-scale inva­sion of Ukraine is just days old, Rus­sia has been work­ing for years to influ­ence and under­mine the inde­pen­dence of its small­er neigh­bor. As it hap­pens, some Amer­i­cans have played a role in that effort. One was for­mer Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s cam­paign chair­man Paul Man­afort. Anoth­er was Trump’s then-lawyer Rudy Giu­liani. It’s all detailed in a wide array of pub­lic doc­u­ments, par­tic­u­lar­ly a bipar­ti­san 2020 Sen­ate report on Trump and Rus­sia. I was one of the jour­nal­ists who dug into all the con­nec­tions, as part of the Trump, Inc. pod­cast with ProP­ub­li­ca and WNYC. (I was in Kyiv, retrac­ing Manafort’s steps, when Trump’s infa­mous call with Ukraine’s pres­i­dent was revealed in Sep­tem­ber 2019.) Giv­en recent events, I thought it’d be help­ful to put all the tid­bits togeth­er, show­ing what hap­pened step by step. Amer­i­cans Mak­ing Mon­ey Abroad. What’s the Prob­lem? Paul Man­afort was a long­time Repub­li­can con­sul­tant and lob­by­ist who’d devel­oped a spe­cial­i­ty work­ing with unsa­vory, unde­mo­c­ra­t­ic clients. In 2004, he was hired by oli­garchs sup­port­ing a pro-Russ­ian par­ty in Ukraine. It was a tough assign­ment: The Par­ty of Regions need­ed an image makeover. A recent elec­tion had been marred by alle­ga­tions that fraud had been com­mit­ted in favor of the party’s can­di­date, prompt­ing a pop­u­lar revolt that became known as the Orange Rev­o­lu­tion. In a memo for Ukraine’s report­ed­ly rich­est man, Rinat Akhme­tov, Man­afort summed up the polling: Many respon­dents said they asso­ci­at­ed the Par­ty of Regions with cor­rup­tion and con­sid­ered it the “par­ty of oligarchs.”

Read the rest here.

In Octo­ber 2020, the Glob­al Influ­ence Oper­a­tions Report (GIOR) report­ed that US intel­li­gence agen­cies had warned the White House that Russ­ian intel­li­gence offi­cers were using Pres­i­dent Trump’s per­son­al lawyer Rudolph W. Giu­liani as a means to trans­mit dis­in­for­ma­tion aimed at under­min­ing the pres­i­den­tial cam­paign of Demo­c­ra­t­ic can­di­date Joe Biden.

In Jan­u­ary 2021, we report­ed that the US had imposed sanc­tions on Ukrain­ian indi­vid­u­als and enti­ties, accus­ing them of asso­ci­at­ing with a pro-Russ­ian Ukrain­ian law­mak­er linked to efforts by Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s allies to dig up dirt on Pres­i­dent-elect Joe Biden and his son.

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