Donald Trump’s campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, has been named in a corruption investigation in Ukraine, where officials are trying to track illegal payments from a pro-Russian political party that once hired the Washington-based political consultant.
Paul Manafort’s Ukraine connections drew scrutiny during last month’s Republican convention, when the party platform committee weakened language that would have called for U.S. military support of Ukraine. (Carolyn Kaster/AP)
More than $12 million in undisclosed cash payments were earmarked for Manafort by the party of Ukraine’s former president, Viktor Yanukovych, who fled Ukraine for Moscow after being ousted in 2014, according to a statement released Monday by the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine.
Manafort denied receiving any improper payments, saying in a prepared statement Monday that he has “never received a single ‘off-the-books’ cash payment.”
“The suggestion that I accepted cash payments is unfounded, silly and nonsensical,” Manafort said, adding that he never worked for the governments of Ukraine or Russia and that he stopped working in Ukraine after the October 2014 elections there.
“The simplest answer is the truth: I am a campaign professional,” Manafort said in the statement. “It is well-known that I do work in the United States and have done work on overseas campaigns as well.”
Manafort’s role in the Ukraine inquiry, first reported by the New York Times, serves as a reminder that Trump, who has faced bipartisan criticism for unusually friendly views toward Russia and has sought real estate deals there, has relied on advisers with personal and financial ties to Moscow and the former Soviet Union....washington post cullage.