Just how many years back does Russia’s plot to install Donald Trump as president go? This week it was uncovered that while Paul Manafort was Trump’s campaign manager in 2016, a member of the Ukrainian government tried to blackmail him over two allegations. We’ve already heard one of them: the Kremlin paid Manafort millions of dollars in off the books payments. But the second is that Manafort was doing the Kremlin’s bidding with regard to Trump as far back as five years ago.
The blackmail threat allegedly came from Serhiy Leshchenko, a member of the Ukrainian parliament, though he denies being involved. One of the claims made is that while Paul Manafort was being paid by the Kremlin to get Russian puppet Viktor Yanukovych elected in the Ukraine, it also had Manafort set up a meeting between Yanukovych’s close associate Serhiy Tulub and Donald Trump.
Even if the allegation is true that the Kremlin had its paid employee Paul Manafort set up this 2012 meeting between Trump and Tulub, it’s yet known whether the meeting actually took place, or what it was about, or what came of it. But at the time, Tulub (along with Yanukovych) was working as a Kremlin puppet. And the 2012 timeframe fits rather oddly with the claim in the infamous Trump-Russia dossier that the Kremlin had invoked a five year plan for the purpose of cultivating Trump ahead of his political run. It gets stranger.
Paul Manafort is now admitting that his daughter did in fact receive the blackmail texts purporting to be from Serhiy Leshchenko. According to Politico, which first broke the story, he’s denying that he’s guilty of any of the allegations made against him. But he’s offering no explanation as to why he didn’t notify U.S. authorities when a foreign operative tried to blackmail him while he was running a major presidential campaign. Contribute to Palmer Report
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report