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President Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, is registering with the government as a foreign agent, a spokesperson has told The Associated Press. The "appropriate steps" are a response to "formal guidance" from the government, the spokesperson added.
Manafort reportedly earned tens of millions of dollars from 2006 to 2009 secretly working for a billionaire Russian aluminum magnate close to Russian President Vladimir Putin, toiling to promote Putin's interests and undermine anti-Kremlin opposition in former Soviet republics. A U.S. official told The Associated Press in March that Manafort is a "leading focus of the U.S. intelligence investigation of Trump's associates and Russia." Following last month's reports, Manafort volunteered to be interviewed by the House Intelligence Committee for the ongoing investigation into whether Trump's campaign staff possibly colluded with Russia.
President Trump was allegedly unaware of Manafort's work for the Russian billionaire. The spokesperson added to AP that Manafort did not lobby on behalf of the Russian government and that the work was from before Manafort joined up with Trump's campaign.
This is the second official with ties to Trump that has had to register as a foreign agent: President Trump's ousted national security adviser, Michael Flynn, had to register due to his work lobbying on behalf of Turkish interests.