Hillary for America released two statements following reports that the campaign chair for Donald Trump, Paul Manafort, has ties to pro-Putin elements in Ukraine. Manafort was named in an investigation by Ukrainian authorities. The report sites off the books records of payments to Manafort. The investigation is on-going. HFA Senior Policy Advisor Robby Mook released a statement calling Manafort’s actions into question. A copy of the statement is below.
“On the eve of what the Trump campaign has billed as a major foreign policy speech, we have learned of more troubling connections between Donald Trump’s team and pro-Kremlin elements in Ukraine. Given the pro-Putin policy stances adopted by Donald Trump and the recent Russian government hacking and disclosure of Democratic Party records, Donald Trump has a responsibility to disclose campaign chair Paul Manafort’s and all other campaign employees’ and advisers’ ties to Russian or pro-Kremlin entities, including whether any of Trump’s employees or advisers are currently representing and or being paid by them.”
As more details were released, the campaign released a second, extended statement from Mook. The statement includes a number of questions for Trump’s campaign as well as a list of members of Trump’s team with Russian Connections. The full statement is below.
“Facing another news story detailing Trump’s team’s ties to Russia and on the day of his foreign policy address, Trump’s campaign manager’s statement raised more questions than it addressed. This is a serious matter and there are real concerns about the pro-Kremlin interests engaged with the Trump team. As someone running to lead American policy and national security, Donald Trump owes the American public answers.”
- Between Trump’s campaign chair Paul Manafort and many other allies and surrogates, Trump should disclose the details of any ties to Russian or pro-Kremlin entities. Which of Trump’s employees or advisers are currently representing and/or being paid by these pro-Russia entities? How did these employees or advisers influence the numerous pro-Putin policy stances already adopted by the campaign?
- Multiple sources have disputed Manafort’s claims on the RNC platform, confirming that the pro-Russia changes were made at the behest of the Trump campaign. Will Trump investigate how the change was made and which of his advisers advocated for it?
- Given Paul Manafort’s history of potentially skirting the Foreign Agent Registration Act and the allegations in the story, will Trump investigate whether his own campaign chair violated FARA and/or whether the reported payments violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act?
- According to the Washington Post, Trump’s Foreign Policy Adviser Carter Page’s “background in Russia has raised questions about potential conflicts of interest.” Page, who has investments in Russian energy giant Gazprom, has been highly critical of U.S. and European economic sanctions placed on Russia and recently broke precedent by giving a speech critical of U.S. policy while in Moscow. What pro-Kremlin policies has Page advocated with Trump?
- After recent Russian government hacking and disclosure of Democratic Party records, it was revealed that long-time Trump confidante Roger Stone was in communication with Julian Assange, leader of Wikileaks and source of key leaked information. In light of WikiLeaks reported ties to Russia, will Donald Trump disclose details of information shared between him and Roger Stone on Assange and the hack of US citizens?
Trump Campaign Aides’ Ties To Russia
- Campaign chairman Paul Manafort – Worked for pro-Putin lackey, propelling him to win the Ukrainian presidency. Did extensive business with Russian and Ukrainian oligarchs, including one who made billions from sweetheart deals Putin gave him on Russian oil. Pro-Kremlin Ukrainian leaders and the Trump campaign have refused to answer whether Manafort is still on a Ukrainian party’s payroll.
- Foreign policy adviser Carter Page – Built a career on deals with Russia and its state-run gas company, and remains invested in it. Expressed excitement at the possibility of lifting sanctions. Gave a speech in Moscow this July criticizing the U.S. and calling for closer business coordination with Russia, and was rumored to have met with top Kremlin officials.
- Military adviser Gen. Michael Flynn – Has come under scrutiny for attending Kremlin propaganda outlet RT’s 10th anniversary gala where he sat two seats from Putin. Told Michael Isikoff he was paid for his speech in Russia, but he was paid by his “speakers’ bureau,” which is merely an intermediary.
- Recently departed adviser Michael Caputo – Was sent to Moscow while working for the State Department, but became “friendly with senior Kremlin officials” and State broke ties with him. He went on to earn a contract with the “Russian conglomerate Gazprom Media to improve Putin’s image in the United States.”
- Foreign policy adviser Richard Burt – Sits on the Senior Advisory Board of Alfa Bank, Russia’s largest privately owned bank, and on the Board of Directors of the U.S.-Russia Business Council, which lobbies against U.S. sanctions on Russia. Burt has “expressed skepticism of the relevance of NATO.”
- Economic adviser & fundraiser Howard Lorber – Traveled with Donald Trump to Moscow in the late 90s seeking a real estate deal. Trump once bragged to a Russian politician, “Howard has major investments in Russia.”
- Trump adviser & surrogate Boris Epshteyn – Moscow-born investment banker who served as the moderator for a 2013 at the “Invest In Moscow!” Conference in New York. Has echoed Kremlin talking points as a Trump surrogate on TV, claiming that Russia did not seize Crimea.
- Trump Adviser Rick Gates – Longtime partner of Manafort’s who has been involved with the same Pro-Putin Russian and Ukrainian oligarchs as Manafort.
News Source: CNN