|Is Donald refusing to honor America?|
Mod: Yesterday's New York Times revelation (link) that $12.7 million in undisclosed cash payments had been made to Darn Old Trump's campaign manager Paul Manafort by pro-Russian Vladimir Putin political party hacks from the Ukraine is blowing up in full technicolor today. Here's a few stories that lay this all out.
Internet freaks after Lewandowski posts Times story on Paul Manafort’s sketchy ties to Ukraine (link): The New York Times dropped a bombshell Sunday night revealing an expose on Donald Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort’s ties to Ukraine.
According to the story, Manafort’s work was consulting for Ukraine’s political party in power. Investigators say the network Manafort is associated with was once used to steal assets and control elections in the country. The ties to Russia and Ukraine came under attack when the FBI found that Russian government hackers were responsible for the hacking of the Democratic National Committee. Interestingly, the DNC staffer who was researching Paul Manafort’s ties to Russia had his personal data targeted.
Their expose “offers new details of how he mixed politics and business out of public view and benefited from powerful interests now under scrutiny by the new government in Kiev.”
“He understood what was happening in Ukraine,” the Times quotes Vitaliy Kasko, a former senior official with the general prosecutor’s office in Kiev. “It would have to be clear to any reasonable person that the Yanukovych clan, when it came to power, was engaged in corruption.”
Adding, “It’s impossible to imagine a person would look at this and think, ‘Everything is all right.’”
Manafort has been doing international consulting since the 1980s, particularly for dictators, including Viktor F. Yanukovych who was removed after an uprising in Ukraine before fleeing to Russia two years ago.
Since leaving, investigators have looked into practices under Yanukovych and found what they called the “black ledger,” a list of names and how much cash was doled out to them. The ledger was in a third-floor room of the Party of Regions headquarters along with two giant safes filled with $100 bills.
“This was our cash,” Taras V. Chornovil, the former party leader told the Times. Though he claims it was the sketchy financial dealings that caused him to leave the party. “They had it on the table, stacks of money, and they had lists of who to pay.”
Over the course of five years, Manafort’s name appears 22 times totaling $12.7 million.
It wasn’t long before Trump loyalist and paid CNN shill Corey Lewandowski tweeted the story. Lewandowski and Manafort were notorious for infighting on the Trump campaign while Lewandowski was at the helm. He’s also spent the last few months, since being fired from the Trump campaign, attacking Manafort in the media, including calling for Manafort’s immediate dismissal after Melania Trump’s plagiarism scandal at the Republican National Convention.
Trump campaign meltdown: Paul Manafort paid off by Russia, Roger Stone attacks Corey Lewandowski (link): In the hours since the New York Times uncovered millions of dollars in illegal secret cash payments made from a Vladimir Putin puppet to Donald Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, all hell has broken loose within the Trump campaign – and much of it is playing out in public for all to see. One of Trump’s top surrogates is publicly gloating over Manafort’s criminal connections, while another top Trump surrogate is publicly accusing is accusing a fellow Trump surrogate of “working for Hillary Clinton.”
The Trump campaign meltdown began late Sunday evening when the NY Times published the story exposing Manafort’s millions of dollars in hidden illegal payments from Vladimir Putin lackey Viktor Yanukovych. Corey Lewandowski, who had been Trump’s campaign manager until he was fired this spring and replaced with Manafort, tweeted out a link to the article as if to gloat about the fact that his replacement is being taken down by a corruption scandal.
Even as Corey Lewandowski was enjoying his revenge, another Trump surrogate Roger Stone got wind of it and fired back by claiming that Lewandowski was now “working for Hillary Clinton” by way of calling him a traitor. Lewandowski actually works as a commentator on CNN now, and it’s not clear what his on-air approach will be to the Manafort story, as CNN wasn’t broadcasting live news on Sunday evening while the drama was exploding.
Meanwhile Donald Trump himself has had nothing to say about the matter, but he now has several problems. There’s the fact that he may have to fire Paul Manafort due to his illegal financial connections to Russia’s Putin. There’s the fact that Corey Lewandowski appears to be so excited by the downfall of Manafort he’s no longer remaining loyal to Trump. And there’s the fact that Roger Stone is now publicly attacking Lewandowski. It all leads to the question of just who might be running Donald Trump’s campaign by the time the smoke clears tomorrow – if there is indeed anything left of his already dying campaign to salvage.
Clinton campaign responds to shocking revelations about Paul Manafort’s pro-Kremlin ties (link): Clinton campaign press secretary Robby Mook issued a late-night statement on the bombshell in the recent New York Times detailing Donald Trump’s campaign chair Paul Manafort and his questionable dealings in Ukraine.
Mook notes that this comes just before Trump is scheduled to give a major foreign policy address Monday on what his strategy will be if he is elected as president.
“We have learned of more troubling connections between Donald Trump’s team and pro-Kremlin elements in Ukraine,” Mook said in the statement. “Given the pro-Putin policy stances adopted by Donald Trump and the recent Russian government hacking and disclosure of Democratic Party records, Donald Trump has a responsibility to disclose campaign chair Paul Manafort’s and all other campaign employees’ and advisers’ ties to Russian or pro-Kremlin entities, including whether any of Trump’s employees or advisers are currently representing and or being paid by them.”
Trump made news just two weeks ago when he told ABC News that Putin is “not going into Ukraine,” seemingly unaware Putin already had annexed Crimea.
Trump also called on Russia to hack Clinton’s server just prior to the Democratic National Convention. “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you find the 33,000 emails that are missing,” he said. “I think you’ll be rewarded mightily by our press!”
He was later denounced by an ex-CIA official who questioned the Republican Party candidate’s patriotism, called treasonous and faced backlash from his own party. Much like the recent “joke” about President Obama being the founder of ISIS, Trump later said that he was being “sarcastic” about the request. Like with the latest claim of “sarcasm,” the press didn’t understand Trump’s “joke” then either.
Mod: Here is my question. Can you support Donald Trump and still claim to be a patriot?