WASHINGTON (AP) – The Associated Press has learned that President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, secretly worked for a Russian billionaire to advance the interests of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Manafort wrote a 2005 strategy plan that he said “can greatly benefit the Putin Government.” At the time, U.S.-Russia relations under Republican President George W. Bush were growing worse.
Manafort’s arrangement was with Russian aluminum magnate Oleg Deripaska, a close Putin ally. Manafort signed a $10 million annual contract beginning in 2006 and maintained a business relationship until at least 2009. The work was described in interviews with people familiar with it and confidential business records obtained by the AP.
Manafort confirmed to the AP that he worked for Deripaska but said the work was being unfairly cast as inappropriate.
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