Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort named in Ukraine anti-corruption probe

From The Washington Post:

More than $12 million in undisclosed cash payments were earmarked for Manafort by the party of Ukraine’s former president, Viktor Yanukovych, who fled Ukraine for Moscow after being ousted in 2014, according to a statement released Monday by the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine.

Manafort denied receiving any improper payments, saying in a prepared statement Monday that he has “never received a single ‘off-the-books’ cash payment.”

“The suggestion that I accepted cash payments is unfounded, silly and nonsensical,” Manafort said, adding that he never worked for the governments of Ukraine or Russia and that he stopped working in Ukraine after the October 2014 elections there.

“The simplest answer is the truth: I am a campaign professional,” Manafort said in the statement. “It is well-known that I do work in the United States and have done work on overseas campaigns as well.”

Manafort’s role in the Ukraine inquiry, first reported by the New York Times, serves as a reminder that Trump, who has faced bipartisan criticism for unusually friendly views toward Russia and has sought real estate deals there, has relied on advisers with personal and financial ties to Moscow and the former Soviet Union.

Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, a former military officer whom Trump briefly considered naming as a running mate, was paid to give a speech and attend a lavish party with Russian President Vladi­mir Putin honoring the Kremlin-
funded media company, RT Television. Another foreign policy adviser, Carter Page, has said he holds stock in Gazprom, the Russian energy firm, whose stock price has stumbled since the imposition of U.S. sanctions following the Russian invasion of Crimea.

Manafort’s Ukraine connections drew scrutiny during last month’s Republican convention, when the party platform committee weakened language that would have called for U.S. military support of Ukraine. Manafort has denied that the …

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