Manafort called the allegations “unfounded, silly and nonsensical,” according to NBC. The New York Times reported government ledgers show $12.7 million in secret payments to Manafort.
Donald Trump’s top political aide is denying a news report that he received $12.7 million in secret cash payments from a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine.
“I have never received a single ‘off-the-books cash payment’ as falsely ‘reported’ by The New York Times, nor have I ever done work for the governments of Ukraine or Russia,”Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort said in a statement.
Manafort, who did work for the party led by the pro-Russian former Ukrainian presidentViktor F. Yanukovych, also said that “I am a campaign professional” and “it is well known that I do work in the United States and have done work on overseas campaigns as well.”
The New York Times reports that “handwritten ledgers show $12.7 million in undisclosed cash payments designated for Mr. Manafort from Mr. Yanukovych’s pro-Russian political party from 2007 to 2012, according to Ukraine’s newly formed National Anti-Corruption Bureau.”
The report added: “Investigators assert that the disbursements were part of an illegal off-the-books system whose recipients also included election officials.”
The story broke shortly before Trump was set to deliver a foreign policy speech Monday atYoungstown State University in Ohio.
Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook called the Times report more evidence of “troubling connections” between Trump’s team and “pro-Kremlin elements in Ukraine.”
Trump “has a responsibility to disclose campaign chair Paul Manafort’s and all other campaign employees’ and advisers’ ties to Russian or pro-Kremlin entities, including whether any of Trump’s employees or advisers are currently representing and or being paid by them,” Mook said.
In his statement, Manafort said that “all of the political payments directed to me were for my entire political team: campaign staff (local and international), polling and research, election integrity and television advertising. The suggestion that I accepted cash payments is unfounded, silly and nonsensical.”