As headlines surrounding former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, a former defense and intelligence official raised the possibility that Special Counsel Robert Mueller may be investigating how he joined the campaign in the first place.
“It’s possible that Russia actually sent and dispatched Paul Manafort to the Trump campaign,” Jeremy Bash, who formerly served as chief of staff for the Defense Department and the CIA, told MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace. “Or at least that once Paul Manafort attached himself to the Trump campaign, the Russians said, okay, now our agent is inside.”
The Kremlin, Bash argued, might have “manipulated the campaign not just through propaganda…but also through agents of influence.”
“Wait wait wait,” Wallace said. “Are you saying it’s possible that [Mueller] wants to find out if Manafort was a Russian plant?”
“Absolutely,” he replied. “They’re going to want to know if there were ties between Paul Manafort and Russia, whether they were financial or otherwise, that caused him to in effect do Russia’s bidding.”
The investigation may look into whether Manafort, liked fired national security adviser Mike Flynn, worked on behalf of the Russians “wittingly or unwittingly” within the Trump campaign.
“The ultimate question,” he continued, “is whether or not Trump himself knew about it…and once he found out that the bureau was investigating them, why did he try to shut down that investigation?”
Watch Bash outline the reasons Manafort may be a Russian plant below, via MSNBC.