In preparation for what will surely be a heated Republican convention, Donald Trump has hired an experienced political operative to help wrangle GOP delegates: Paul Manafort, a strategist with three decades of Republican conventions under his belt, who has also worked for some unsavory international clients.
That roster includes the pro-Russian former president of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, who was deposed in a popular revolution in 2013.
As Quartz reported earlier this month, Trump’s foreign policy advisors also include Carter Page, a former advisor and current shareholder in the state-controlled Russian natural gas giant, Gazprom, who has advocated for a less adversarial US stance toward Moscow. Bloomberg spoke with Sergey Yatsenko, a former Gazprom official who is now an official adviser to Page’s firm, who said Page “understands what’s going on in Russia … He doesn’t make strong judgments.”
Manafort worked with the Ukrainian president in the several years leading up to his 2010 election win. Three years later, Yanukovych fled the country, ousted from his seat by the pro-European and pro-democracy protests.
Yanukovych was the symbol of mass corruption rampant in Ukraine, with his lavish mansion that famously includes a zoo, a massive collection of luxury cars and a pure gold paperweight shaped like a loaf of bread (sound familiar?).
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