Recently, there have been an avalanche of revelations regarding just how close Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign was to Russia. In the past couple of weeks, that story has centered on Donald Trump, Jr. and his meeting with a bunch of Russians in Trump Tower in an effort to get dirt on Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. Now, however, we turn our attentions more closely to another person who was in that meeting: Former Trump Campaign Manager Paul Manafort.
According to the New York Times, Manafort could have been compromised by the Russians due to an amazing amount of money he owed them — to the tune of $17 million. This information comes via financial documents from Cyprus, a place for rich people to hide lots of money to avoid paying American taxes. According to those records — which have been verified — Manafort came by this debt when he was working for pro-Putin entities in Ukraine. He was apparently using shell companies to conduct business over there. Said companies owe Russian oligarchs a bunch of money, and they also owed said money during the time when Manafort was running Trump’s campaign. The New York Times explains:
The records, which include details for numerous loans, were certified as accurate by an accounting firm as of December 2015, several months before Mr. Manafort joined the Trump campaign, and were filed with Cyprus government authorities in 2016. The notion of indebtedness on the part of Mr. Manafort also aligns with assertions made in a court complaint filed in Virginia in 2015 by the Russian oligarch, Oleg V. Deripaska, who claimed Mr. Manafort and his partners owed him $19 million related to a failed investment in a Ukrainian cable television business.
In other words, Paul Manafort is in deep sh*t with a some really dangerous Russians, and he was in that same kind of trouble while he was running an American presidential campaign. This revelation is just another in a long and complex line of Trump associates who somehow have ties to very dangerous Russians — some of which reach all the way up to the Kremlin and even Vladimir Putin himself.
Make no mistake, folks — we have Russian agents in the White House. The Russians helped hand Donald Trump the presidency so that they could compromise him and those around him. It’s dangerous for the nation and for the world, and we must make sure to elect a Congress in 2018 that will be a check on this corrupt administration full of Russian stooges.
Featured image via Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images