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Saturday, January 21, 2017

Links between Russian officials and Trump

The FBI and National Security Agency should have vetted all candidates for President well in advance of their being elected. The main purpose of political parties is to vet their branded candidates. In the instance of Donald Trump, he was elusive because he wasn't fully committed to the Republican Party and had disdain for both. There are no standards for vetting Presidential candidates, and that is an enormous omission in the American political system.

Who is Paul Manafort?

Born    Paul John Manafort, Jr.
April 1, 1949 (age 67)
New Britain, Connecticut, U.S.
Alma mater    Georgetown University (BA, JD)
Political party    Republican

Paul Manafort was Chairman of Donald Trump's 2016 United States Presidential campaign. Follow the money and follow the links between "Trump people" and the Russians.
"In March 2016, he joined the presidential campaign of Donald Trump to lead Trump's 'delegate-corralling' efforts. In April 2016, Trump terminated campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and promoted Manafort to the position. Manafort gained control of the daily operations of the campaign as well as an expanded $20 million budget, hiring decisions, advertising, and media strategy." 
"Manafort is best known for his lobbying efforts on behalf of pro-Russian Ukrainian leader Viktor Yanukovych as well as for dictators such as Ferdinand Marcos and Mobutu Sese Seko and guerrilla leader Jonas Savimbi.[3][4][5] He was an adviser to the presidential campaigns of Republicans Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Bob Dole, and was the national chairman of the presidential campaign of Donald Trump, as well as being a senior partner in the firm Davis, Manafort, and Freedman. It was confirmed in The New York Times on the eve of the 2017 Presidential Inauguration that Manafort is under active investigation by the CIA, NSA, FBI, ODNI and FinCEN.[6]"
"American law enforcement and intelligence agencies are examining intercepted communications and financial transactions as part of a broad investigation into possible links between Russian officials and associates of President-elect Donald J. Trump, including his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, current and former senior American officials said. 
The continuing counterintelligence investigation means that Mr. Trump will take the oath of office on Friday with his associates under investigation and after the intelligence agencies concluded that the Russian government had worked to help elect him. As president, Mr. Trump will oversee those agencies and have the authority to redirect or stop at least some of these efforts. 
The counterintelligence investigation centers at least in part on the business dealings that some of the president-elect’s past and present advisers have had with Russia. Mr. Manafort has done business in Ukraine and Russia. Some of his contacts there were under surveillance by the National Security Agency for suspected links to Russia’s Federal Security Service, one of the officials said. 
The F.B.I. investigation into Mr. Manafort began last spring, and was an outgrowth of a criminal investigation into his work for a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine and for the country’s former president, Viktor F. Yanukovych. In August, The Times reported that Mr. Manafort’s name had surfaced in a secret ledger that showed he had been paid millions in undisclosed cash payments. 
The Associated Press has reported that his work for Ukraine included a secret lobbying effort in Washington aimed at influencing American news organizations and government officials. 
Mr. Stone, a longtime friend of Mr. Trump’s, said in a speech in Florida last summer that he had communicated with Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, the anti-secrecy group that published the hacked Democratic emails. During the speech, Mr. Stone predicted further leaks of documents, a prediction that came true within weeks.
In a brief interview on Thursday, Mr. Stone said he had never visited Russia and had no Russian clients. He said that he had worked in Ukraine for a pro-Western party, but that any assertion that he had ties to Russian intelligence was “nonsense” and “totally false.”"

NBC News
Side by side: Trump and Manafort

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