Late on Sunday, The New York Times released a story regarding the relationship between Donald Trump’s campaign manager, Paul Manafort and the former President of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych. The story cited secret records showing payment of millions of dollars to Manafort.
Mr. Manafort has worked in international consulting for a number of years, with his first client going back former Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos. There is no question that Mr. Manafort worked Mr. Yanukovych before joining Trump’s campaign last spring. According to the Times article:
"Mr. Yanukovych and his Party of Regions relied heavily on the advice of Mr. Manafort and his firm, who helped them win several elections. During that period, Mr. Manafort never registered as a foreign agent with the United States Justice Department — as required of those seeking to influence American policy on behalf of foreign clients — although one of his subcontractors did. "— The New York Times – August 14, 2016
The article then went on to say, “It is unclear if Mr. Manafort’s activities necessitated registering. If they were limited to advising the Party of Regions in Ukraine, he probably would not have had to.”
Mr. Manafort’s attorney, Richard A. Hibey denied that his client had done anything illegal.
These are suspicions, and probably heavily politically tinged ones. It is difficult to respect any kind of allegation of the sort being made here to smear someone when there is no proof and we deny there ever could be such proof. — Richard A. Hibey – Attorney for Paul Manafort
The Clinton campaign was quick to jump on the trending story with a statement issued by campaign press secretary, Robby Mook saying, “We have learned of more troubling connections between Donald Trump’s team and pro-Kremlin elements in Ukraine.”
The Trump campaign had no formal response to the story Sunday evening, but with Trump scheduled to give a major foreign policy speech on Monday, it can be expected that the issue will come up.