Manafort Reportedly Passed Trump Campaign Data To Russian Associate
Paul Manafort, the former Trump campaign chairman, provided polling data to a Russian business associate during the 2016 campaign with instructions to pass the information to two Ukrainian oligarchs, according to a report.
Manafort’s legal team accidentally revealed in a court filing on Tuesday in the special counsel’s probe that the longtime GOP consultant provided the data to his associate, Konstantin Kilimnik, during the 2016 campaign.
The New York Times followed up with more details of the hand-off, reporting that Manafort instructed Kilimnik to provide the information to Serhiy Lyovochkin and Rinat Akhmetov, two Ukrainians who have worked with Manafort for years.
The Times initially erroneously reported that Manafort instructed Kilimnik to pass the polling data to Oleg Deripaska, a Russian oligarch with close ties to Vladimir Putin who was in a business dispute with Manafort during the election period.
According to The Times, Manafort and Rick Gates, his former business partner and campaign deputy, provided the information in spring 2016, around the time Trump clinched the GOP nomination. Most of the information was public, though some included internal polling data, a source told The Times.
What remains unknown is whether Trump or others on the campaign were aware that Manafort provided Kilimnik with polling data. It is also not clear what Lyovochkin and Akhmetov did with the information.
Both Lyovochkin and Akhmetov had close ties to Viktor Yanukovych, the former Ukrainian prime minister. A political party affiliated with Yanukovych paid Manafort and Gates millions of dollars through 2014 for political consulting and public relations work. (RELATED: Manafort Found Guilty On Eight Counts Related To Work For Ukrainian Political Party)
Update: This article has been updated to reflect a correction from The New York Times. The Times initially reported that Manafort passed polling data to Oleg Deripaska. The newspaper on Wednesday corrected and updated its report.
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