Emails suggest Paul Manafort sought approval from Russian President Vladimir Putin ally

October 3, 2017 12:00 pm

This file photo taken on April 26, 2016 shows before a Trump speech at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC. (Photo by AFP)

Revealing emails turned over to investigators detail how President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort corresponded with an employee to see if he could deploy his role as Trump’s campaign manager to gain favor with a top Russian oligarch, also a close confidant of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
According to emails obtained by The Atlantic, Manafort emailed Russian-Ukrainian political operative Konstantin Kilimnik to ask whether Russian oligarch Oleg Vladimirovich Deripaska, a close ally of Putin and one of the richest men in Russia, had seen the coverage of his hiring by Trump, American magazine reported on Monday.
“I assume you have shown our friends my media coverage, right?” Manafort wrote to Kilimnik in April 2016.
“Absolutely, every article,” responded Kilimnik, who had worked for Manafort for over a decade while Manafort did business in Ukraine and  consulted for Ukraine’s pro-Russia ruling political party from 2007 to 2012.
The emails are currently being scrutinized as part of an ongoing investigation into alleged meddling by Moscow in the 2016 presidential election. Lawyers for the Trump campaign turned over the materials to investigators.
Manafort, whose home was raided by FBI agents in July, is a high-profile focus of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the possibility of collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign.
He was ousted from the Trump campaign later that month, following a New York Times report that his name was listed in a secret ledger of cash payments from the ruling pro-Russian party in Ukraine. He submitted his resignation on August 19.
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