CNN's John Avlon on Wednesday explained how the current Ukraine scandal engulfing the Trump White House actually started last decade, when former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort started working as a lobbyist in the former Soviet republic.
Looking at all the information we know about Trump's efforts to push Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, Avlon summed up how many events over the past several years have finally come to a head.
"Let's start with Trump's former campaign manager," he began. "Right now Paul Manafort is in federal prison, but more than a decade ago, he riding high in Ukraine as a political Svengali for a pro-Putin Ukrainian president -- somehow managing to pull in $60 million in a country where the average salary is just 200 bucks!"
Avlon then explained how the corrupt pro-Putin government created a chaotic situation for Ukraine, which is what pushed multiple Western governments to urge the country to fire former Ukrainian Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin, who was seen as unwilling to prosecute corruption cases that might expose the nation's political elites.
It was shortly after Shokin's dismissal, Avlon said, that Trump brought Manafort onto his campaign. And it appears that Manafort's subsequent arrest and conviction on multiple counts of tax and bank fraud over his work in Ukraine was what helped convince Trump to buy into the bogus conspiracy theory that it was really Ukraine that hacked the Democratic National Committee in 2016.
"There's still a lot of light that needs to come out," Avlon said. "But at the end of the day, there's only one winner in this twisted tale, and his name is Vladimir Putin. Same as it ever was."
Watch the video below.