Trump Says He Didn’t Know Manafort Gave Polling Data To Russian Associate

Trump Tells ABC’s Jon Karl ‘I Didn’t know Anything About’ Manafort Collusion With Russia

Senior Democratic lawmakers called on Wednesday for further investigation into a revelation that in 2016 Donald Trump's then-presidential election campaign chairman gave polling data to a man USA prosecutors have linked to Russian intelligence. That could change, assuming that Trump's lying about this, but Mueller wouldn't have put this much effort into publicly undermining Manafort's credibility as a witness if that was a likely possibility. Trump did not elaborate and turned to another reporter with a question on a different topic.

Still, the developments of Manafort's court filing Tuesday and the assertions Wednesday about the oligarchs confirm that Manafort had an interest in pocketing cash from a foreign country while he led Donald Trump's campaign.

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. He also has a March 5 sentencing before Jackson in Washington for his guilty plea on conspiracy against the US and conspiracy to obstruct justice.

Rinat Akhmetov - one of Ukraine's wealthiest men - said in a statement to CNN Thursday that allegations of contacts with Manafort and Konstantin Kilimnik, a Russian-intelligence-linked associate of Manafort, were "false" and that Manafort's work for Akhmetov's System Capital Management (SCM) ended over a decade ago.

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". Manafort spokesman Jason Maloni said Tuesday the Madrid trip mentioned in the filing occurred in January or February 2017- months after Manafort was ousted from the campaign and as Trump was taking office. Prosecutors say Manafort acknowledged the meeting only after being told that they were in the same city on the same day. Russian Federation and Ukraine have been locked in a conflict since 2014 over Russia's annexation of Crimea.

Manafort earned millions from his Ukrainian political work over several years, which included wire transfers from Akhmetov and Lyovochkin through offshore bank accounts, prosecutors said at trial. But there has been no indication that Trump knew about Manafort's activities or that the recipients used the data to help Trump win the election.

The defense lawyers say Mueller's team has indicated they will not pursue additional charges against Manafort.

He referred Reuters to Schiff's statement that lawmakers on the committee "need to find out" about Manafort's interaction with Kilimnik on polling data.

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