Trump 'didn't dismiss the idea' of Putin meeting during campaign, reports CNN

CNN reports that then-Candidate Donald Trump 'did not dismiss the idea of arranging a meeting with Russia's president when it was suggested in a meeting with his campaign foreign policy advisers last year.'

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Trump's campaign chair offered private briefings to Russian oligarch

During his tenure as Donald Trump's campaign chairman, Paul Manafort offered private briefings on the status of the US Presidential election to Kremlin-connected Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska, the Washington Post reports.

Via the Washington Post:

Less than two weeks before Donald Trump accepted the Republican presidential nomination, his campaign chairman offered to provide briefings on the race to a Russian billionaire closely aligned with the Kremlin, according to people familiar with the discussions.

Paul Manafort made the offer in an email to an overseas intermediary, asking that a message be sent to Oleg Deripaska, an aluminum magnate with whom Manafort had done business in the past, these people said.

“If he needs private briefings we can accommodate,” Manafort wrote in the July 7, 2016, email, portions of which were read to The Washington Post along with other Manafort correspondence from that time.

The emails are among tens of thousands of documents that have been turned over to congressional investigators and Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s team as they probe whether Trump associates coordinated with Russia as part of Moscow’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 U.S. election.

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Paul Manafort drops legal team for Russia-Trump investigation

A few days after news spread that FBI agents raided Paul Manafort's Virginia home to seize possible evidence in the Russia investigation, there's news that the former campaign manager for President Donald Trump “has tapped a new legal team to represent him as government lawyers examine possible Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.”

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FBI raided Manafort's home

Paul Manafort, who served as President Trump's campaign manager and is otherwise famous for shady dealings in Ukraine, was paid a visit by the FBI in recent weeks. The Washington Post reports that the "predawn raid" was in connection with the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 general election.

Federal agents appeared at Paul Manafort’s home without advance warning in the predawn hours of July 26, the day after he met voluntarily with the staff for the Senate Intelligence Committee.

The search warrant was wide-ranging and FBI agents working with special counsel Robert S. Mueller III departed the home with various records.

The raid came as Manafort has been voluntarily producing documents to congressional committees investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election. The search warrant indicates investigators may have argued to a federal judge they had reason to believe Manafort could not be trusted to turn over all records in response to a grand jury subpoena.

Corresponds with when Trump started getting sweaty and shaky about Mueller.

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Feds subpoena Manafort over $3.5M tax-free loan he received right after he abruptly left Trump campaign

Paul Manafort received a 3.5 million dollar tax-free and payback-free loan from someone yet unknown, right after he left Donald Trump's presidential campaign. Federal investigators have subpoenaed Manafort's records to find out more about this weird real estate loan transaction, and his finances in general.

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Russian billionaire Deripaska paid Manafort to 'greatly benefit' Putin before Manafort joined Trump campaign

Before he worked for the Donald Trump presidential campaign, Paul Manafort worked for a Russian billionaire to help promote Russian president Vladimir Putin's agenda in the United States.

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'Flynn Doesn't Matter,' says TPM's Josh Marshall, 'This Is About Trump'

A scorching analysis of the unprecedented last few days in America from Joshua Marshall of Talking Points Memo, following the Russia-clouded resignation of Trump national security Michael Flynn, who follows the Russia-scandal resignation of Paul Manafort, and other advisors who've stepped aside under various clouds of suspicion.

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Sidelined Trump campaign chief quits, rumored to be target of federal investigation over Ukraine ties

Sidelined but not fired by Republican millionaire Donald Trump to make way for a new campaign manager, Paul Manafort is nonetheless resigning from his post. The rumor? He's under federal investigation for his role in shady goings-on in Ukranian politics.

Mr. Manafort left nearly a week after a New York Times report about tumult within the Republican presidential nominee’s campaign helped precipitate a shakeup of the campaign’s leadership. His departure reflects repeated efforts to steady a campaign that has been frequently roiled by the behavior of its tempestuous first-time candidate.

Mr. Manafort was also dogged by reports about secretive efforts he made to help the former pro-Russian government in Ukraine, where he has worked on and off over several years. He had also become viewed with trepidation by Jared Kushner, Mr. Trump’s son-in-law and a major force within the campaign, amid a number of false starts since the Republican National Convention, according to three people briefed on the matter.

U.S. lobbyists must declare their representation of foreign interests; he did not. Manafort, if found guilty of violating these rules, would be a felon facing "up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000," according to the Associated Press. Read the rest