There’s more to the business ties between former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and a Kremlin-aligned oligarch, NBC News reported Friday night.
NBC found a previously unreported $26 million loan between a Manafort-linked company and the Putin-friendly billionaire oligarch, Oleg Deripaska.
Citing financial documents filed in Cyprus and the Cayman Islands, NBC reports the loan brings a grand total of their business dealings over the past decade to around $60 million.
According to the documents, funds were sent from a Deripaska-owned company to Manafort-linked entities registered in Cyprus.
Manafort’s spokesman Jason Maloni, who is subpoenaed with his client by Special Counsel Robert Mueller for the probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, released a statement to NBC: “Mr. Manafort is not indebted to former clients today, nor was he at the time he began working for the Trump campaign.”
NBC said Maloni later revised the statement, removing that sentence entirely: “Recent news reports indicate Mr. Manafort was under surveillance before he joined the campaign and after he left the campaign. He has called for the U.S. Government to release any intercepts involving him and non-Americans in hopes of finally putting an end to these wild conspiracy theories. Mr. Manafort did not collude with the Russian government.”
It’s been previously reported that Deripaska did business with Manafort in the mid-2000s. The Associated Press reported in March that the aluminum magnate negotiated a $10 million lobbying contract with Manafort to do work that would “greatly benefit the Putin Government.”
Earlier this month, The Atlantic obtained a 2016 email correspondence between Manafort and his longtime business partner Konstantin Kilimnik that appears to be an effort to get back in the good graces of the oligarch. In some of the emails, Kilimnik seemed to signal to Manafort that he had been forwarding to a Deripaska aide named Victor media coverage of the work Manafort was doing for the Trump campaign.
A spokesperson for Deripaska denied that the Russian oligarch received any of the emails or was otherwise in contact with Manafort at the time, according to The Atlantic.
Maloni told The Atlantic the emails were “innocuous” and that it was “no secret Mr. Manafort was owed money by past clients.” However, Deripaska’s spokesperson rebutted the suggestion that Deripaska owed Manafort money.
Manafort’s foreign dealings, which include his work for a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine, are a key part of the federal investigation into possible collusion between Trump’s campaign and Kremlin operatives.
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