Wednesday, 16 January, 2019

Did not know Manafort shared campaign data with Russian partner, claims Trump

Trump Tells ABC’s Jon Karl ‘I Didn’t know Anything About’ Manafort Collusion With Russia Trump Says He Didn’t Know Manafort Gave Polling Data To Russian Associate
Jeannette Daniel | 12 January, 2019, 01:28

President Donald Trump on Thursday claimed he had no knowledge that Paul Manafort, his onetime campaign chairman, allegedly shared internal 2016 Trump campaign polling data with a suspected former Russian intelligence officer.

They also defended their client's recollections of his meetings with Kilimnik, a Russian-Ukrainian citizen who served as his key representative on the ground in Ukraine during a series of political campaigns in which Manafort served as a highly paid consultant.

Manafort, who ran the Trump campaign from March to August 2016, was convicted last August of eight counts of financial fraud in federal court in Virginia. Manafort's lawyers said any incorrect statements by him were unintentional.

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

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Mueller has been investigating Russia's meddling in that election, as well as possible coordination between the Kremlin and Trump campaign-related figures.

CNN reported that Tony Fabrizio, a partner at Republican public opinion firm Fabrizio, Lee & Associates, was spotted leaving the special counsel's office on February 1 of 2018, and has since been confirmed to be meeting with investigators at that time.

Jackie Speier, a Democratic member of the House Intelligence Committee, said the revelations raised new questions about possible "collusion" between Trump's election team and Russian Federation. Manafort denied that he was trying to hide the meetings he had with Kilimnik, who has also been charged in Mueller's wide-ranging investigation, and instead had just forgotten about them until he'd been presented evidence to refresh his memory. President Trump denies any campaign collusion with Russian Federation.

But US prosecutors have since accused Manafort of lying to investigators, complicating his efforts to get a reduced sentence in exchange for his cooperation. She also gave Manafort's lawyers until January 18 to respond to the special counsel's filings.

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