World

Trump denies knowledge of Manafort’s alleged contact with suspected ex-Russian agent

Trump denies knowledge of Manafort’s alleged contact with suspected ex-Russian agent

The interview gained new relevance after revelations that former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort reportedly had a Ukrainian-born fixer, Konstantin Kilimnik - who Mueller has said has "ties to a Russian intelligence service" - sharing Trump campaign polling data with two pro-Russian Ukrainian oligarchs.

There is no evidence that Trump was aware that Manafort was sharing the data with Kilimnik, who was described by Mueller in court documents previous year as having "ties to a Russian intelligence service".

"This shows that Bob Mueller can demonstrate to a court, without the testimony of Paul Manafort, that the campaign had a connection to Russian intelligence and the connection involved information going from the campaign to the Russians", Napolitano said.

A spokesman for Manafort declined to comment about the initial filing, which was submitted in federal court in response to charges that Manafort lied to the special counsel's prosecutors while meeting with them on a dozen occasions as part of his guilty plea last September. Manafort's lawyers said any incorrect statements by him were unintentional.

The New York Times reported that Gates also transferred polling data to Kilimnik in the spring of 2016.




According to CNN, Manafort told his accountant in a November 2016 email to expect a $2.4 million payment for consulting work he performed in Ukraine. President Trump denies any campaign collusion with Russian Federation.

He said that agreement would be a "conspiracy", whether or not the Trump campaign actually got anything of value from the Russians. That could change, assuming that Trump's lying about this, but Mueller wouldn't have put this much effort into publicly undermining Manafort's credibility as a witness if that was a likely possibility.

Mueller's team has also charged Kilimnik with conspiracy to obstruct justice and obstruction of justice.

Manafort is scheduled to be sentenced February 8 by U.S. District Court Judge T.S. Ellis III in Northern Virginia for his conviction on eight felony counts of bank and tax fraud.


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