Speed Reads


Paul Manafort reportedly flaunts his direct line to Trump's ear in foreign dealings

President Trump's former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, is reportedly still involved in foreign dealings and is going as far as to promote his access to the president's ear, Politico reports. "[Manafort is] going around telling people that he's still talking to the president and — even more than that — that he is helping to shape Trump's foreign policy," said one lawyer involved.

Manafort quietly consulted on a proposal under which ... the [China Development Fund] would invest $30 billion or more in the Puerto Rican government's bond debt and possibly the island's critical infrastructure, according to documents and interviews with four people familiar with the negotiations, including a Manafort business partner.

One of the people, [the] lawyer involved in the discussions, said Manafort indicated that he could convince the Trump administration to support any resulting deal, because he's remained in contact with Trump’s team, and that he played a role in helping to soften Trump’s tough campaign rhetoric on China. [Politico]

Manafort is one of the major figures at the center of the ongoing FBI investigation into the Trump campaign's ties to Russia. Recently, Manafort retroactively reported that he did work with a pro-Russia Ukrainian party, although he hadn't first registered as a lobbyist or a foreign agent.

"Paul [Manafort] certainly has a knack for making big deals, but it would be problematic for the administration to allow China to buy Puerto Rico's debt and to have Paul involved in the deal," a Trump adviser told Politico. "It would be problematic to have Paul representing himself as a liaison to the Trump administration on any deal, given the FBI investigation." Read the whole scoop here.