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Trump ally Manafort attempted to help Russian billionaire get US visa over FBI objections: report

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According to a report by David Corn at Mother Jones, former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort was enlisted by a Russian billionaire to help him get a U.S. visa in 2000 despite FBI objections.

Wednesday morning the Associated Press reported that Manafort in 2005 “proposed in a confidential strategy plan… that he would influence politics, business dealings and news coverage inside the United States, Europe and the former Soviet republics to benefit the Putin government, even as U.S.-Russia relations under Republican President George W. Bush grew worse.”

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According to that report, Manafort pitched his plan to Oleg Deripaska, a Russian aluminum magnate closely allied with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

However, it appears that Manafort’s relationship with Deripaska goes back even further when the billionaire ran into resistance when he wanted a U.S. visa.

According to Corn, Deripaska hired former Sen. Bob Dole (R-KS) who was working with the lobbying firm of Alston & Bird to press the State Department to allow the Russian into the U.S. After gaining approval, Deripaska delivered lectures at Harvard University and at a DC think tank, but was once again banned after an interview with the FBI during his visit.

According to Mother Jones’s sources, Deripaska turned to Manafort who helped him line up a public relations firm tasked with helping create positive press for the billionaire.

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In 2006, he was allowed back into the country to speak, once again, with FBI investigators, only to have his visa revoked due to concerns,”about the accuracy of statements he made in a meeting with the Federal Bureau of Investigation,” reported the Wall Street Journal.

Manafort is currently the subject of an FBI investigation into his many financial ties to the Russians, including during the brief time when he served as President Donald Trump’s campaign manager.

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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Trump is completely melting down — here are the 6 craziest tweets he’s made just this morning

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China's decision to slap new tariffs on $75 billion worth of American goods on Friday sent President Donald Trump into a downward mental spiral, as he was reduced to tweeting out unhinged orders and proclamations while the stock market has been plummeting downward.

On Friday morning, the president sent out a string of angry and nonsensical tweets that included attacks on the Chinese government and his own Federal Reserve chairman, as well as bizarre new orders to postal carriers.

Below, we'll recap the six craziest things Trump tweeted on Friday morning alone.

1.) Trump declares his own Federal Reserve chairman to be an "enemy." Trump was very angry that Federal Reserve Chairman Jay Powell did not immediately order deep interest rate cuts to combat a potential economic downturn, and the president was not shy about denouncing him in very pointed terms.

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George Conway fears Trump is ‘psychologically decompensating before our very eyes’

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President Donald Trump spent Friday morning melting down on Twitter as he watches bad economic news pour in, and conservative attorney George Conway worries he's suffering a mental breakdown.

Economists have been sounding alarms about a possible recession ahead of the 2020 election, and Trump has been alternately insisting things are fine while also trying to lay blame for a downturn at the feet of his political enemies.

Trump snapped at his own Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell, who has resisted pressure by the president to lower interest rates, and attacked Chinese leader Xi Jinping over a new round of tariffs in an escalating trade war.

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Fox’s Chris Wallace stunned as ‘flailing’ Trump tries to order around US companies while the stock market plunges

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Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace seemed stunned by a series of angry tweets from Donald Trump on Friday morning, first attacking Fed Chair Jerome Powell for not lowering interest rates than exploding at China over a new round of tariffs.

Speaking with host Sandra Smith, Wallace sat and listened as she read off the president's Twitter complaints about economic events beyond his control, including one telling U.S. companies to take their manufacturing business elsewhere.

"We are just all learning of this at the same time, but the best I can tell, the American president can’t order U.S. companies how they’re going to do their sales and where they’re going to have their supply chains," Wallace lectured. "We have a free-market capitalist system."

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