Trump campaign chair laid the groundwork for Putin’s Crimea annexation: leaked memo
Paul Manafort may not be running Donald Trump’s presidential campaign anymore, but he’s still finding ways to make headlines.
The Times is reporting that a senior Ukrainian prosecutor is alleging that Manafort in 2006 orchestrated a series of anti-NATO protests headed up by the pro-Russian Party of Regions, which has since been designated as a criminal organization.
These protests forced NATO to cancel military exercises in Ukraine and helped raised the profile of Party of Regions chief Viktor Yanukovych, who served as president of Ukraine from 2010 until 2014.
“It was [Manafort’s] political effort to raise the prestige of Yanukovych and his party — the confrontation and division of society on ethnic and linguistic grounds is his trick from the time of the elections in Angola and the Philippines,” reads a memo obtained by The Times. “While I was in Crimea, I constantly saw evidence suggesting that Paul Manafort considered autonomy [from Ukraine] as a tool to enhance the reputation of Yanukovych and win over the local electorate.”
Trump has suggested that, as president, he would formally recognize Russia’s annexation of Crimea as legitimate.