A spectacular segment on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow show drawing from the Mueller report shows how the activities of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort leave absolutely no doubt that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia in 2016. Maddow’s straightforward argument is that a decade before Manafort joined the Trump campaign, he was already being paid to install Kremlin-friendly leaders worldwide. Therefore the fact that the same Manafort who was being paid to install Kremlin-friendly leaders somehow ended up as Trump’s campaign manager should leave no doubt in any objective person’s mind that the Kremlin had a vested interest in Trump being elected president and more importantly, that they(Kremlin) actively worked to achieve that goal(colluded with TeamTrump). The full Maddow segment is available here but the relevant clip is below
Specifically, Maddow said, “Manafort’s job for more than a decade before he started working for Trump was that he installed friendly political officials in office on behalf of a Kremlin-connected Oligarch. The Oligarch paid him to install people in high office in foreign countries for the convenience of the Kremlin. That was Donald Trump’s campaign chair…..Manafort did repeatedly send detailed internal polling data from the Trump campaign to a Russian guy[Kilimnik] who it was understood would then send that information to the Kremlin connected Oligarch[Deripaska]. He repeatedly provided internal polling data to that Russian guy.” Maddow added that in August 2016 Manafort also provided Kilimnik with Trump campaign plans to win the battleground states which he identified as Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Minnesota.
Also very noteworthy is that according to the Mueller report, Manafort communicated with the Russians using highly encrypted communications that Mueller’s team was unable to recover. Manafort has fought tooth and nail to keep such communications hidden, even risking death in prison if that is what it would take. What Manafort did with the Russians in aid of the Trump campaign remains an open question meaning even with the release of the Mueller report, the collusion question is not yet resolved.
Bottom line there is no way any reasonable person looking at the Manafort episode can conclude that there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. Think about that folks, the Kremlin settled on Trump as the U.S President who would best help them advance their interests. The guy(Manafort) the Kremlin had been paying to install Kremlin-friendly leaders worldwide ended up as Trump’s campaign manager. Manafort shared Trump campaign’s internal polling data with Kremlin operatives and has fought tooth and nail, even risking death in prison,to hide his communications with Kremlin operatives while he was Trump campaign chair. Simply put folks, unless and until there is enough sunlight shed on the Manafort-Kremlin contacts especially as relates to the sharing of internal polling data, any reasonable person would conclude at this juncture that the Trump campaign colluded with the Kremlin in 2016 and that Manafort was a key player in such collusion.
Also as a side note, it has been widely reported that it is Manafort who brought Mike Pence into the Trump campaign. Now would be the perfect time to find out whether VP Pence was brought in at the request of the Kremlin.
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