Ukrainian government officials helped boost Hillary Clinton and worked to sabotage Donald Trump's political campaign during the 2016 election, a Politico investigation has found. In one instance, a Ukrainian-American operative consulting with the Democratic National Committee even had a hand in exposing Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort's ties to Russia, which eventually resulted in his ousting from the Trump campaign.
Unlike the recently exposed sophisticated, centrally-organized Russian hacks that were intended to give Trump a leg-up, any of Ukraine's efforts to help Clinton were greatly limited. Nevertheless, "it seems that a U.S. election may have been seen as a surrogate battle by those in Kiev and Moscow," said David A. Merkel, who works as a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council and helped oversee U.S. relations with Ukraine and Russia under George W. Bush.
And although Ukraine has maintained that they were nonpolitical during the election, their pro-Clinton slant could come back to bite them back now that Trump is in the White House:
Many Ukrainian officials and operatives and their American allies see Trump's inauguration this month as an existential threat to the country, made worse, they admit, by the dissemination of the secret ledger, the antagonistic social media posts and the perception that the embassy meddled against — or at least shut out — Trump.
"It's really bad. The [Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko] administration right now is trying to re-coordinate communications," said [former political officer in the Ukrainian Embassy, Andrii] Telizhenko, adding, "The Trump organization doesn't want to talk to our administration at all."
During [former Ukrainian diplomat Valentyn] Nalyvaichenko's trip to Washington last month, he detected lingering ill will toward Ukraine from some, and lack of interest from others, he recalled. "Ukraine is not on the top of the list, not even the middle," he said.
Poroshenko’s allies are scrambling to figure out how to build a relationship with Trump, who is known for harboring and prosecuting grudges for years. [Politico]
Read the entire investigation at Politico.