A new report reveals that Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, owed LOTS of money to pro-Russian interests before he jumped on the Trump Train, signing on as campaign manager. How much money are we actually talking about here? A staggering $17 million.
According to the New York Times, “financial records filed last year in the secretive tax haven of Cyprus, where Paul J. Manafort kept bank accounts during his years working in Ukraine and investing with a Russian oligarch,” show that he was deep in debt to several pro-Russian interests before joining Trump’s campaign in March 2016.”
The financial documents show that “the money appears to have been owed by shell companies connected to Mr. Manafort’s business activities in Ukraine when he worked as a consultant to the pro-Russia Party of Regions.”
Manafort was forced to resign as Trump’s campaign manager due to his shady ties to Russia and Ukraine. But, much like the rest of the Russia scandal, no one was sure just how bad things really were. The Cyprus documents give us the best idea yet as to how indebted Manafort really was to his Russian buddies. From the New York Times:
The Cyprus documents detail transactions that occurred in 2012 and 2013, during the peak of Mr. Manafort’s decade-long tenure as a political consultant and investor in the former Soviet republic, where his past work remains a source of controversy.
Jason Maloni, a spokesman for Manafort, insists that this is all just more of that liberal “fake news” type stuff. Naturally.
“Manafort is not indebted to Mr. Deripaska or the Party of Regions, nor was he at the time he began working for the Trump campaign,” Mr. Maloni said. “The broader point, which Mr. Manafort has maintained from the beginning, is that he did not collude with the Russian government to influence the 2016 election.”
Nothing in the documents indicates that any of Manafort’s multimillion dollar loans have been repaid. Manafort has repeatedly claimed that everything he did involving the Ukraine was on the up and up, but the Cyprus documents clearly show that “some of that money was routed through offshore shell companies and disguised as payment for computer hardware.”
Sh*t just keeps getting deeper when it comes to the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia.
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