President Trump's former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, possibly attempted to leverage his proximity to the Republican candidate to "curry favor with a Russian oligarch close to Russian President Vladimir Putin," The Atlantic writes based on emails turned over to investigators.
Manafort was reportedly $16 million in debt to companies connected to Russian interests in Ukraine, although it is unclear if he owed money directly to Oleg Vladimirovich Deripaska, the oligarch in question. Despite his financial troubles, Manafort worked for the Trump presidential campaign for free. "In the email exchange that took place two weeks after starting on the campaign, Manafort seemed primarily concerned with the Russian oligarch's approval for his work with Trump — and asked for confirmation that Deripaska was indeed paying attention," The Atlantic writes.
Deripaska and Manafort did not meet in 2016, as far as documents show. Manafort did correspond at length with Konstantin Kilimnik, who had worked with him in the Ukrainian capital, about the oligarch "OVD."
Subscribe to The Week
Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.
Kilimnik has denied that discussions with Manafort went beyond the topics of "current news" and "unpaid bills" — and they were "in no way related to politics or the presidential campaign in the U.S.," he told The Washington Post. Read the full report at The Atlantic.
Continue reading for free
We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.
Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.