World

Manafort's Ties To Russia Are Not Surprising

| by Shani Shahmoon

Flashing red warning lights haven't stopped going off since President Donald Trump's election this January. And the new evidence regarding Russian ties is no different. But this sort of thing is to be expected.

The most recent allegations came out this week via The Associated Press, targeting the already well-scrutinized Paul Manafort, Trump's ex-campaign chairman.

Manafort was part of Trump's campaign from March through August of 2016, during which time Trump received the presidential nomination at the Republican National Convention.

The Washington Post reported that when allegations of his longtime relationship with a pro-Russian Ukrainian political party, Manafort left the team -- kind of.

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Yesterday, the AP released a story referencing never-before-seen documents revealing Manafort's intentions in Russia -- beyond his Ukrainian ties. And while FBI Director James Comey confirmed that investigations regarding the possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia during the last presidential election are proceeding, Manafort was not mentioned in his statement.

The new information regarding Manafort's connections with Russia ties him close to the communist country's aluminum magnate, Oleg Deripaska -- one of Vladimir Putin's closest allies and "pet gazillionaires." Deripaska and Manafort allegedly signed a $10 million annual contract that started in 2006 following Manafort's proposal to help "influence politics, business dealings and news coverage inside the United States, Europe and the former Soviet republics to benefit the Putin government," Esquire reports.

As usual, Trump's administration denies all allegations and sees little weight in the matter.

In fact, Sean Spicer, press secretary to the Trump administration, stated that Manafort played a "very limited" role in the campaign trail, completely rejecting the timeline of the Republican nomination

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This young teenage singer was shocked when Keith Urban invited her on stage at his concert. A few moments later, he made her wildest dreams come true:

If the current government officials working alongside Trump have been taught anything by their PR team, it's, "Deny, deny, deny ... or blame the media."

We are all too used to this methodical rejection of criticism, so we might as well accept that Trump and his team will never admit to their mistakes and will simply repeat them over and over again.

It doesn't help their stance that Manafort and his minions are still swarming the White House.

According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Manafort has shared that he continues to communicate with Trump via telephone, while his former business partner, Rick Gates, continues to walk the halls of the White House. He said he even helped plan Trump's Inauguration. Now Gates runs a nonprofit called America First Policies, which unabashedly backs the White House agenda.

The truth is: Our new government officials have no idea what they're doing.

They either failed at completing a background check on Manafort prior to hiring, or they didn't think connections to Russia mattered, or even worse, they saw Manafort's close ties with the communist country as beneficial to them.

Regardless, none of this is very surprising. Not Manafort's hiring, nor his history, nor the denial from our government officials.

If there's one thing this administration is good for, it's consistency (in messing up). 

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Sources: AP, Esquire, AJC, The Washington Post / Photo credit: Disney | ABC Television Group/Flickr

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