Trump Says He Didn’t Know Manafort Gave Polling Data To Russian Associate
- Author: Jon Douglas Jan 13, 2019,
Jan 13, 2019, 1:03
It is one of the strongest pieces of evidence yet that there was active cooperation between the Trump campaign and the Russian government's efforts to influence the 2016 election.
Patrick Boland, a spokesman for Representative Adam Schiff, the House Intelligence Committee's new Democratic chairman, noted that Schiff had described the revelation as "stunning" to the Washington Post.
Special counsel Robert Mueller's investigators met past year with a pollster who worked on Donald Trump 's 2016 presidential campaign and is a former associate of Trump's ex-campaign chief Paul Manafort, according to a new report.
Senator Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, which has been conducting a bi-partisan investigation into Russian election meddling, also called for further probing of the matter.
Mueller has been investigating Russia's meddling in that election, as well as possible coordination between the Kremlin and Trump campaign-related figures.
He said that agreement would be a "conspiracy", whether or not the Trump campaign actually got anything of value from the Russians.
"It's a significant revelation that further makes the case for cooperation between the President's team and Russian Federation on steering the outcome of the 2016 election", Speier told Reuters.
Manafort's lawyers maintain that all of their client's misstatements to Mueller "were not intentional" and happened because he was poorly prepared for his meetings with the special counsel, which started days before he pleaded guilty and then began in earnest the day after his September 14 plea hearing. Manafort denied that he was trying to hide the meetings he had with Kilimnik, who has also been charged in Mueller's wide-ranging investigation, and instead had just forgotten about them until he'd been presented evidence to refresh his memory.
Akhmetov's statement to CNN also said, "As has been repeatedly stated in the media, the work between SCM and Mr. Manafort and his consulting firm was completed in 2005".
An "unnamed source familiar with the situation" told CNN Fabrizio wasn't aware of with whom Manafort or his deputy Rick Gates had shared polling data.
Trump has repeatedly denied any collusion with Russian Federation and criticized Mueller's ongoing probe as a "witch hunt".