Maddow untangles Trump’s Russia web all the way back to the ‘unsexy’ RNC convention
On Wednesday night’s installment of “The Rachel Maddow Show,” the MSNBC host recounted how “dogged reporting on an unsexy topic” like the Republican National Convention “can sometimes start to uncover the small edge of something that eventually crescendos into the biggest political scandal in a generation.”
Last summer, Maddow noted, the Washington Post published an article on a noteworthy but not salacious occurrence at the RNC in Cleveland — that then-candidate Donald Trump’s campaign reversed the party’s “anti-Russia stance on Ukraine.” In that piece, writer Josh Rogin noted that “campaign chairman Paul Manafort had in fact worked as lobbyist for Russian-backed former president of Ukraine for more than a decade.”
Less than a month later, in August 2016, the New York Times published revelations that Manafort’s name appeared in a Ukrainian party’s “secret ledger of off-the-books payments” as someone owed $12.7 million. Maddow noted that four days late, a Politico profile about “Manafort’s man in Kiev” which delved deeper into the campaign manager’s dealings in Ukraine, was published. The day after the Politico piece was published, Manafort resigned.
The revelations continued — the now-infamous drip, drip, drip of information about the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia — but didn’t pick up speed until March of 2017, when reporter Ken Vogel reported that the former campaign manager dealt with his agent in Ukraine while working for Trump.
After recounting more of the many news breaks that have taken place since the leaky hose of the Manafort-Russia connection started spewing, Maddow noted how the story went from a “small ball report” on a “non-consequential political oddity” at the RNC to news that broke today — that Manafort offered up “private briefings” to a Kremlin-linked Russian oligarch when heading the campaign.
Watch Maddow uncover the Manafort links stone-by-stone below, via MSNBC.