After a New York Times story earlier this week that Paul Manafort had allegedly received $12.7 million in cash from the Ukraine, not many were surprised to hear of Paul Manafort’s resignation today. After the news, Trump immediately shuffled his camp, benching Paul Manafort to Washington.
Two days later, Paul Manafort resigned. Bloomberg News reports today that the Hillary Clinton campaign plans to keep highlighting what it refers to as an “odd bromance Trump has with Putin.”
The only thing that Donald Trump has said publicly about Paul Manafort since the resignation is that he got them through the convention and, “I wish him the greatest success.”
But the resignation and the events that led to it have cast a shadow on an already faltering Trump campaign. A former partner of Manafort’s told Bloomberg that Manafort resigned because this Ukraine situation was a distraction from the real work.
Hillary Clinton does not seem to agree. According to a statement released by her campaign manager today, she thinks the “Ukraine thing” was a direct admission of Paul Manafort’s connections to the Ukraine.
She wants to know more. Bloomberg reports that the Clinton camp intends to keep linking Trump to Russia. This is exactly what they have done in their statement on the resignation today.
The Clinton campaign does not believe that the Ukraine situation is just a distraction and believes it is an admission of the connections between Donald Trump and Russia. The campaign also referred to the connections as a “bromance between Trump and Putin,” noting that saying goodbye to Manafort doesn’t end that relationship.
Hillary Clinton also wants Donald Trump to come clean on financial affairs with Russia, and she’s not letting that question go anytime soon. In fact, one night before the New York Times’ allegations that Paul Manafort accepted $12.7 million in cash from the Ukraine, Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook released a foreshadowing statement.
He said, “We have learned of more troubling connections between Donald Trump’s team and pro-Kremlin elements in Ukraine.”
It does appear by all press reports to date that there are indeed some connections between Paul Manafort and the Ukraine. The Washington Post has Paul Manafort’s connections with Ukraine explained. He reportedly began work there in 2005, consulting for a Ukrainian steel company, owned by a man described as a billionaire.
The owner of the steel company was a long-time supporter of Viktor Yanukovych, who was once the prime minister of the country. He was also “an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin.”
Paul Manafort reportedly did a lot of work there that benefited American companies, such as Chevron and Exxon, and also American agriculture. But the Washington Post also reports in their explanation of Manafort’s connections that he was involved in “lucrative side deals with Russian and Ukrainian oligarchs,” some of whom are being investigated by the United States.
As we previously reported, Manafort then became a prominent part of Ukraine politics, helping Yanukovych, who is an ally of Vladimir Putin, win an election. That happened in 2010. By 2014, Yanukovych had to flee to Russia when he made a bad decision over a trade deal.
Manafort stayed in the Ukraine. The New York Times reported in their expose on Monday that as of May 2016, Manafort’s personal effects were still there. The sources for that New York Times report were investigators in the anti-corruption bureau in the Ukraine.
Those investigators are looking for more off-the-book payments connecting Yanukovych to $100 billion in losses that those investigators believe was stolen by Yanukovych before he went to Russia, according to the Washington Post. Paul Manafort has denied every allegation, citing them as silly and nonsensical.
However, the Washington Post also notes that those aren’t even the only messy allegations surrounding Paul Manafort. He has also allegedly tried to lobby American press to give positive press to Ukraine politics.
The press Manafort has allegedly lobbied for this is the Associated Press, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal, reports the Washington Post. Neither of these outlets took him up on his offer.
Today, Donald Trump tweeted about how the New York Times was dying. Also today, Paul Manafort officially resigned from his post as campaign chair for the Trump campaign.
The Hillary Clinton campaign believes this resignation is a clear admission of connections between the Trump camp, Putin, and Russia. And it is clear that Hillary Clinton is not going to stop asking those questions until she gets more clarity for America on Trump’s finances.
She really wants to see those tax returns. The Hillary Clinton campaign posted another ad about Donald Trump’s tax returns yesterday.
[Photo by Carolyn Kaster/AP Images]