Ex-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort admits sharing info with Russians

Former President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign chairman Paul Manafort has admitted to sharing classified campaign data with a suspected Russian intelligence officer at a time when Moscow was meddling in the 2016 election on Mr Trump’s behalf.

one in Interview with insideMr Manafort – who was later convicted of tax evasion but pardoned by the former president – said he shared the data, which the Treasury Department described as “sensitive information on polling and campaign strategy”, with suspected Russian intelligence officials. Konstantin Kilimnik in hopes of financial gain for himself not to help Russia’s efforts to help Mr. Trump defeat Hillary Clinton.

“The data I shared with him was a combination of public information and material for the spring — it was old,” Mr. Manafort said, a claim inconsistent with what he told his former deputy, Rick Gates, in an email. The seizure was made by federal investigators during a Justice Department investigation into whether the Trump campaign had ties to Russia’s pro-Trump interference efforts.

In an email seized by investigators working for then-special counsel and former FBI director Robert Mueller, Mr. Manafort ordered Gates — who was convicted of several federal crimes uncovered during Mr. Mueller’s probe — to provide only internal data to Mr. Kilimnik. Two weeks before the alleged Russian agent’s visit.

According to the Senate Intelligence Committee, Mr. Manafort and Mr. Kilimnik took great pains to keep their dealings secret, with the panel reporting that there was “limited insight into Manafort’s communications with Kilimnik” because both used “sophisticated communications security practices.” .

sat down with the former GOP consultant and lobbyist inside Prior to the publication of his memoirs, in which he gave another explanation of his dealings with Mr. Kilimnik.

Accordingly inside, Mr. Manafort claims in his book that he only offered “talking points” to suspected spies on public polls, not admitting to sharing sensitive raw internal polling data. But the Treasury Department approved Mr. Kilimnik in 2021 to feed data provided by Mr. Manafort to Russian intelligence services, which used polling data to target US voters to boost Trump and discredit Ms. Clinton.

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