Trump campaign chairman and/or manager Paul Manafort [politico link]:
“The suggestion that I accepted cash payments is unfounded, silly and nonsensical.”
Never a good look, denying one has relations with foreign powers while managing a presidential campaign. Especially when there’s a handwritten ledger showing more than twelve million dollars in previously undisclosed cash payments.
But now that he’s denied it, what else can we do? It’s not as if Paul Manafort still works for Putin’s man in Ukraine, or his employment there overlapped with his employment with Trump. Oh, wait:
His furniture and personal items were still there as recently as May.
This was all predicted back in April, by the way:
Manafort has offered his services to not one but two presidents driven from power through popular revolution — Viktor Yanukovych in Ukraine and Ferdinand Marcos in the Philippines. He has lobbied for Saudi Arabia, a Bahamanian president suspected of narco-trafficking and a former Angolan rebel leader accused of torture.
For this work, Manafort has been well-compensated. He told a congressional oversight panel in 1989 that his firm normally accepted only clients who would pay at least $250,000 a year as a retainer.
Spy Magazine reported that his firm received $600,000 one year as compensation for his work for Angolan rebel leader, Jonas Savimbi. The Daily Beast reported that Manafort’s work for the Saudis netted him $250,000 for six months of work in 1984. A Justice Department form filed in 2008 from a subcontractor to Manafort’s firm said the PR work alone on behalf of Ukraine’s government was paid at $35,000 a month.
In 2013, Manafort surfaced in a French influence-peddling scandal involving Edouard Balladur, who was prime minister in the mid-1990s. Manafort acknowledged in a Virginia court that he was paid by an adviser to the Saudi royal court more than $200,000 for advice he provided on security issues. That adviser in turn funneled the profits of an arms sale back into Balladur’s political campaign.
Paul Manafort made the usual, similar disclaimer at that time, back in April:
When asked about his Ukraine lobbying on “Meet the Press” on Sunday, he said that Trump was now his only client.
I suppose today’s “unfounded, silly, and nonsensical” is an improvement, somehow? But have we evidence that, in fact, Manafort’s only client is Donald Trump?
Who else might be?