SHARE
How about 'I resign?' No reason, just checking.
How about ‘I resign?’ No reason, just checking.

Big rumblings in the Trump campaign today in reaction to a New York Times exposé of possible connections between Donald Trump’s campaign manager Paul Manafort and corruption in the government of former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych. Unfortunately, this is the boring old “dirty money” kind of scandal that has worrisome implications for security and integrity, not the far more exciting sexxytimes scandal that doesn’t really mean anything but is a lot more fun to talk about, so it remains to be seen whether Manafort’s job is really at risk. Hell, he works for Donald Trump, so a track record involving secret cash payments, hidden bookkeeping, offshore financial dealings, and a bunch of dubious shell companies may actually be a feather in Manafort’s cap, not a big black eye. Also, the details involve a foreign country, foreign politics that are hard to follow, a bunch of foreigners with their funny foreign names, and a web of connections that are difficult to follow, so it’s a lot easier for the Trump campaign to yell “Big Media Lies!!” and insist there’s nothing to worry about. Not a single sexxy photo in the whole mess.

So, here’s a quick-n-dirty summary from the Times:

Handwritten ledgers show $12.7 million in undisclosed cash payments designated for Mr. Manafort from Mr. Yanukovych’s pro-Russian political party from 2007 to 2012, according to Ukraine’s newly formed National Anti-Corruption Bureau. Investigators assert that the disbursements were part of an illegal off-the-books system whose recipients also included election officials […]

Mr. Manafort’s involvement with moneyed interests in Russia and Ukraine had previously come to light. But as American relationships there become a rising issue in the presidential campaign — from Mr. Trump’s favorable statements about Mr. Putin and his annexation of Crimea to the suspected Russian hacking of Democrats’ emails — an examination of Mr. Manafort’s activities offers new details of how he mixed politics and business out of public view and benefited from powerful interests now under scrutiny by the new government in Kiev.

The investigators say it’s unclear whether Manafort actually received any of the cash listed in the “black ledgers” kept in the offices of Yanukovych’s party, and that he is not yet the target of a criminal investigation, although the payments listed in those ledgers are. Ukranian officials do say Manafort would have had to know that Yanukovych wasn’t exactly an on-the-books kind of guy when it came to money:

“He understood what was happening in Ukraine,” said Vitaliy Kasko, a former senior official with the general prosecutor’s office in Kiev. “It would have to be clear to any reasonable person that the Yanukovych clan, when it came to power, was engaged in corruption.”

Mr. Kasko added, “It’s impossible to imagine a person would look at this and think, ‘Everything is all right.’”

Yr. Wonkette will not take you down all the very interesting rabbit holes of offshore money fiddling and political intrigue, because the Times story does a fine job of that, and also it isn’t especially good comedy material. But it’s definitely worth noting that since Paul Manafort got aboard the Trump Train, the candidate has suddenly become a lot more forgiving of the Russian takeover of Crimea. Probably simply because he now has a reliable advisor who could explain it to him. And then there’s the interesting little detail that the only item in the Republican party platform that the Trump campaign really wanted to change was a line calling for providing Ukraine with defensive arms. Not to mention Trump’s fascinating suggestion that NATO countries will need to pay protection money if they want the USA to actually meet its treaty obligations. Anyone who thinks any of that might be a little worrisome is, of course, a warmongering Hillary shill who dreams of reviving the Cold War and McCarthyism.

Not surprisingly, Manafort is already in the Angry Denials And Denunciations phase of responding to the Times story, issuing a statement explaining the dishonest media is out to destroy him and Donald Trump, who is of course the only person able to save America in this dangerous world:

Once again, the New York Times has chosen to purposefully ignore facts and professional journalism to fit their political agenda, choosing to attack my character and reputation rather than present an honest report. […]

The suggestion that I accepted cash payments is unfounded, silly and nonsensical.

In one of the more creatively phrased parts of the statement, Manafort griped that the Times “points out hesitantly, every government official interviewed states I have done nothing wrong.” Not exactly — those officials said the “black ledger” showed multiple cash payments earmarked for Manafort, but that they hadn’t yet determined whether he received them. Not a single Ukrainian official said Paul Manafort is the most honest, decent, honest, uncriming — and did we mention honest? — human being they’d ever had the privilege of investigating.

Besides, Manafort whined, why wasn’t the New York Times reporting on all the times Hillary Clinton did corruption using the Clinton Foundation? Yup, sure would have been nice if they’d done at least one story on those allegations.

Besides the allegations in the Times story and Manafort’s denials, vast quantities of popcorn were consumed after former Trump campaign honcho Corey Lewandowski tweeted the NYT story Monday, leading to speculation that Lewandowski was firing a revenge-seeking missile at Manafort’s back. Not so! insisted Lewandowski after a few hours — he’d simply tweeted the Times story — without additional comment — to shame the New York Times for being so horribly unfair to his esteemed former colleague who totally replaced him, and for whom he has the greatest respect, mrowrl:

“Why did you decide to tweet that little tidbit?” CNN’s Chris Cuomo asked.

“You know what it does? It goes exactly to the point I just made,” Lewandowski said, arguing that the Times reports negatively on Trump but ignores coverage of unflattering stories on Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

“The media is now focusing on a private person who had a private business model,” Lewandowski argued. “No one says there’s anything illegal about what he did. He’s saying he didn’t receive the money.”

Well, certainly. That’s the only possible interpretation, you genius, you.

It remains to be seen whether Manafort will be able to ride out the scandal; our money is on his continued survival, since it’s only Monday and Donald Trump still has tons of time so say some stupid shit that will completely drown out a story that requires readers to pay attention for more than five minutes and doesn’t involve any boobs other than Paul Manafort, Donald Trump, and Corey Lewandowski. If only the fuckery had involved sex instead of money.

[NYT / Politico / MSNBC / Politico again / RawStory / TPM]

$
Donate with CCDonate with CC
  • SuspectedDemocrat

    “No one says there’s anything illegal about what he did. He’s saying he didn’t receive the money.”

    To quote Trump, people are saying this.

    • Pickwicknext

      There’s a whole lot questionable about it. And this is not good for a potential future chief of staff

      • Major_Major_Major

        There is a whole metric fuckton of “not good” in the trumpkin campaign

    • Major_Major_Major

      “People are saying”, the 2016 version of JAQing off.

    • Zyxomma

      “I’m hearing … “

    • Lamashtar

      Poor Paul Manafort. What with working for Trump pro bono, I don’t know how he gets paid at all.

  • Pickwicknext

    Donnie hasn’t said something exceptionally stupid yet today? Colour me impressed.

    But really, the Manafort guy is terrible and is friends with terrible people. I do not want to live next to Russia more than Canada already is.

  • Spotts1701

    “No one says there’s anything illegal about what he did. He’s saying he didn’t receive the money.”

    Now that there is some mighty fine hair-splitting, chief.

    • Callyson

      It all depends on how you define “receive.” After all, it wasn’t delivered via carrier pigeon, so how could he have “received” it?

  • Beowoof14

    A private business model, that is a new way to say he is a crook hiding his dealings from the view of the public and the authorities.

  • Ms.MLG1979

    Whoooooo Boy! That’s a lot of whore diamonds! Maybe I shouldn’t vote for Trump after all!

    Stop. Throwing. Things.

  • SuspectedDemocrat

    Did he receive the money? Let’s ask Manafort’s Cayman Islands banker.

  • Daisy
    • Callyson

      Taylor Harvey, co-founder of the campus Homeless Student Union, said she personally knows many students at UC Berkeley who face homelessness

      There is a Homeless Student Union now? That is fucking depressing…

      • Daisy

        It is, and this policy is why I, a freshman student who doesn’t have to worry about homelessness, is stressing out. Because I’m entirely dependent on my financial aid. My family contribution is $0, because we don’t have the fucking money.

        • hendenburg2

          Christ. Is Cal still only letting people stay in the dorms for two years?

          • Daisy

            Not that I know of. Fuck, I should check that out.

      • TeeRaak

        Hey! I was near Yale and saw a beautiful, young Muslim woman with a cardboard sign (probably a grad student who ran out of funds)…

      • Aquaria

        For quite a while now, there have been students who don’t have an official residence. They sleep in the libraries when they’re open, shower in the gyms, and use a meal card to eat. They get mail through a PO Box or, if they’re lucky, a campus mail box.

        Sounds like homeless to me.

  • SterWonk

    “… NATO companies countries…”

    FTFY Dok.

    • formerChild

      Actually, he was just getting in Trump’s head. There’s no question that’s how HE thinks of them.

      • SterWonk

        Getting that far in Trump’s head cannot be pleasant, or healthy. Stay safe and sane, Dok!

        • wurman

          Fortunately, getting into Trump’s head is quite safe because that peculiar abyss doesn’t have the capability to look back at Dok.

    • doktorzoom

      Damn, that’s embarrassing. I’m a terrible proofreader of my own work.

      • SterWonk

        Aren’t we all? :-)

  • Callyson

    This will be a big help with that pivot that Trump will do any day now…

  • Bub the Leftwing Zombie

    I’m sure Manafort is telling the truth when says he never received any cash payments. They were wire transfers.

    • Kavefish

      Well, now I’m wondering what he’s gonna do with twelve million dollars worth of wire.

  • Villago Delenda Est

    Manafart is really a piece of work.

  • SDGeoff

    I betcha Fox News is covering this one 24/7.
    Mmm-hmm.

    • Latverian Diplomat

      They are kinda busy deleting all the pre-Obama Afghanistan stories from the archives.

  • x111e7thst

    Focus people. The real problem is Hilz email.

    • edith prickly

      BENGHAZIIIII!

  • Beanz&Berryz

    Ah, well, under the accrual system of book keeping you post liabilities when they come due, so the nasty Ukrainians could just be practicing good-solid accrual style book keeping and Monofart never did get paid… he just billed for the services rendered and got stiffed…

    and, well too, black ledgers are so typically accrual-based, rather than cash flow based because, you know, who cares where all the dark money actually ends up going, as opposed to where it’s supposed to go…

  • OneYieldRegular

    “The suggestion that I accepted cash payments is unfounded, silly and nonsensical. I always have that cash laundered and the payments made through a…uh…hey look up there! A plane!”

  • Crystalclear12

    Please, this is the Republican party. It was probably listed on his resume as foreign policy experience.

  • tehbaddr

    Good luck finding the off-shore hidey hole of all the moneys! “I never received those payments, I’m innocent of everything I tell you!”

    • Biel_ze_Bubba

      The current gov’t in Ukraine might be very happy to seize the bank records showing the wire transfers.

  • Toomush_Infer

    I don’t understand the big deal. Manafort can see Russia from his back pocket….

    • Lascauxcaveman

      It’s the other way around; but still.

  • Droogs

    If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, blame the media.

  • beingreleased

    I think this was very clever of Manfort. I certainly couldn’t get the Ukraine to give me millions of dollars under the table. I bet I couldn’t even get a legitimate contract with the Ukraine.

  • “Thank you, Viktor. However in the future, I would prefer a non descript briefcase to the sack with a dollar sign on it.”

    • Kavefish

      “Sorry — we were all out of bags with ruble signs on ’em.”

  • Mavenmaven

    Well, Wendi Deng is allegedly dating Putin, so the whole right wing gang is apparently in love with the guy.

    • TeeRaak

      Deng Deng Deng

    • Tovarish Z

      I thought he was dating a Russian gymnast.

      • PubOption

        Alina Kabaeva. She supposedly bent over backwards to hook up with him. He might have dumped her when she got pregnant.

        • Beaumarchais?

          ISWYDT!

    • Mr. Blobfish
      • Celtic_Gnome

        I don’t see how this can be used to attack Crooked Hillary, so what’s the point?

    • Beaumarchais?

      Alas, Snopes says no. While she is vacationing with Ivanka, she’s apparently never met Putin. Given her marriage to Murdoch and fling with Blair, though, she clearly would have no qualms about dating Putin.
      http://www.snopes.com/2016/08/15/ivanka-trump-socializes-with-wendi-deng/

    • jmhm

      She went from Tony Blair to Putin?

      I mean, I could have sworn I read that he was dating a contortionist, but I find I’m more struck by the fact that Wendy Deng went from Tony Blair to Putin.

      Wonder how Rupert Murdoch (who is no longer, I believe, a great fan of Ms Deng) feels about the Trump family hanging out with his ex?

  • kingeider

    Manofart also heavily involved in Joseph Savimbi and Mobutu Sese Seko. Also the Marcos in the Phillipines. He never met a klepto-dictator whose wallet he didn’t love

  • dshwa

    This is a ploy by Trump to get Kissinger to endorse him instead.

  • Randy Riddle

    Wow. It’s only Monday. I can’t imagine what the rest of Trump’s week will be like.

    • Señor Skwerl
      • Biel_ze_Bubba

        Make it a dumpster full of tires, and you’re getting close.

        • Arolpin

          How about a giant dumpster, full of smaller dumpsters made of tires, and the smaller dumpsters are full of burning tires, and the entire thing is on fire. Oh, and some toxic waste too, just to really give it the Trump vibe.

        • MrCanoehead

          Like so?

  • Latverian Diplomat

    Manafort’s involvement with Pro-Russian Ukrainians was a fiasco, but it still went better than his attempt to start a New York Yankees Booster club in Boston.

  • exinkwretch

    I know it’s not scientific or anything. but one look at this skid mark and I immediately think, “Yeah, he’s guilty.”

  • Daisy

    Oh my god, my dad’s having his “there should be less government” thing. FFS, it’s not the government’s problem Cal is inadequate at communication.

    • malsperanza

      Ask him how he feels about public universities, public schools, defense, highways, the interstate commerce commission, safe food, safe medicines, thalidomide, safe working conditions, child labor, secure prisons, pirates at sea …

  • azeyote

    hey capitalism is the American Way –

  • Latverian Diplomat

    You’d think Trump would have hired at least one honest, competent person by now, just by chance.

    • Tio_Doidinho

      Fer Christ’s sake, what would be the fun in that??

    • Biel_ze_Bubba

      What honest, competent person would work for him?

      • Celtic_Gnome

        He’s already shown the world how he treats honest, competent people in his business dealings.

    • Celtic_Gnome

      Despite his lack in so many areas, his interview process seems exceptionally good at weeding out those “bad seeds”.

  • Scooby

    I guess that’s what he meant when he said Putins not in Ukraine.

  • I Only Like Cats

    So, uh, any chance anyone is going to face any consequences for this?

    • Latverian Diplomat

      On November 8, hopefully.

  • anna rampage

    Well of course Paul Manfart is going to deny accepting cash payments from the ousted pro Russian govt of Ukraine, they guy didn’t pay any taxes on the $12.5 million he accepted and would be in deep shit with the IRS

    • Also, Mandy Rice-Davies defense.

      • PubOption

        It’s true, he would.

    • HanBarbara

      Also probably in violation of FARA
      https://www.fara.gov/enforcement.html

      • doktorzoom

        Actually, that would only apply if he did any advocacy for Ukraine here in the USA. No requirement to register if he did all his “work” in Ukraine. Charming, huh?

        • HanBarbara

          Even if he was still taking money from the Ukraine under the table while here in the US? I know, now I’m thinking like a conspiracy theorist RWNJ who believes that the Clinton Foundation does those things.

          • doktorzoom

            As I understand it, registration is only required if a foreign country is paying someone for lobbying on its behalf in the US. Manafort says his work in Ukraine ended in 2014, so no paid overlap with Trump.

            Now, if he happened to mention to Trump what great people the Russian-backed Ukrainian separatists are, that’s just conversation, right? (eyeroll)

  • Biel_ze_Bubba

    http://www.firstreview.info/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/inferno.jpg “Nothing to see here. Move along, move along…”

    • Hairstrike Alpha

      It’s like you’ve seen into my dreams of what will happen once I gain power….

  • Latverian Diplomat

    “Look on the bright side. The guy I was backing lost.”
    — Paul Manafort

  • hendenburg2

    What else would you expect of the guy who sold attack submarines to Pakistan?

  • bubbuhh

    Mebbe. It would be irresponsible not to speculate. Anywayz, in a situation involving a bear, it’s best to make sure one can outrun tother non-bearz and get to it.

  • AnOuthouse

    A reliable internet source told me that the ledger lines indicated that the payments were for sexual services received. Paul Manafort is a dirty slut, allegedly.

  • Honest to god, if trump does one more outrageous thing on a Tuesday, I am going to actually believe he’s a Clinton plant and this has been performance art all along.

    • Mr. Blobfish

      He will give a boring TelePrompTer speech today then go hurtling towards crazytown tomorrow.

      • Nope! He’s going full on crazy on Monday. ideology test for furrins!

        • malsperanza

          Also, apparently tossing out all our military alliances. Why not? What the fuck have they ever done for us?

    • John Orendorff

      Now you know the truth, fuflans. Wake up the Sheeple! Trump has been a Clinton plant from the get-go. Trump has long been a Clinton fan. They attended his wedding. There are pictures! Ivanka is a good friend of Chelsea. Trump has given the Clintons money. He ran for president as a joke and to insult the other candidates. He’s quite surprised to have won the nomination and is doing everything he can to be defeated. Next, he’s going to insult the only demographic he has left. Expect him to say, “Angry old white guys, I call them Wacky Whites, are such losers. Huuuge losers. They’re pathetic. Sad. Disgusting.”

  • HobbesEvilTwin

    So his defense is he didn’t get paid for all the ratfucking? Not a very good ratfucker, IMO.

    • boyblue122

      You dont work for someone for 6 years for free. He just doesnt want the IRS showing up at his front door

  • TeeRaak

    Fiction?

    A Cheeseburger Royale ain’t no Fiction, Motherfucker…
    https://media2.giphy.com/media/CDH0spsSaqQUg/200w_d.gif

  • ComradeTrumputin

    HAHAHAHA!!!!

  • Tovarish Z

    There are some people it is better not to take money from. Manafort has not learned that lesson.

  • DemmeFatale

    Who cares?
    All I care about hacking-wise is my beloved Wonkette.
    LEAVE WONKETTE ALONE!!!!

  • Candy Apple

    At least one person is alleging there are more revelations to come…

    https://twitter.com/AdamWeinstein/status/764992807236808704

    • HobbesEvilTwin

      ooh boy

    • Aquaria

      Oh, there’s more. The NYT has hinted that this is only the opening salvo of a series, but of how many articles, I don’t know.

      • Celtic_Gnome

        And Donnie can scream from now until Election Day how horrible the New York Times is to him with their lies, and his followers will lap it up. The other 60% to 70% of the country, however…

  • cousin itt

    OT Larry Wilmore’s show ends Thursday. CC is becoming a running gag.

  • Hairstrike Alpha

    I have a two part comment to this story:
    Go fuck yourself, Manafort….
    Where is the money, LEWANDOWSKI?

  • Hairstrike Alpha

    Ivanka Trump hangs out with Putin’s girlfriend as well…..you know it’s funny, if Hillary Clinton had this many clear ties to Putin wingnuts would be on a non-stop 24/7 freakout-a-thon ESPECIALLY after it came to light that her campaign manager was the one who specifically demanded changing the DNC platform to be less pro-Kiev and much more pro-Moscow. Seriously wingnuts have you no dignity?

    • Duke

      Americans are IDIOTS! At least enough to let them think that they’ll get away with it.

      • btwbfdimho

        Americans are IDIOTS!

        Well, some of them.

        Speaking of which, I posted this silly video yesterday but now I think may represent Trump and his followers (who are…millions). (sound off recommended)
        https://www.facebook.com/bigtoysrc/videos/753064128169553/

        • Courser

          That’s WAAAAYYY better than cow-tipping!

        • malsperanza

          Somewhere, a border collie is extremely huffy.

          • Lamashtar

            I’m convinced the truck knew the secret words. No other explanation for a herd to follow that thing!

        • Good_Gawd_Yall

          That looks like a trumplethinskin rally. They’re all clearly terrified of it, but they follow it anyway, and – it goes without saying – they’re full of shit.

    • MrCanoehead

      IOKIYAR.
      A-fucking-gain.

    • jowgajen

      It’s scary. It’s really scary, not in the least part because it shows a huge flaw in human cognitive function. You’d like to think we are rational creatures, you’d like to think that you are a rational creature, but it’s extremely difficult to believe that in the face of widespread and obvious irrationality.

  • Tio_Doidinho

    On a related topic: Who lit the fire that inspired journalists to start practicing journalism again?

    • Toomush_Infer

      Boredom?…

    • Whale Chowder

      I think Trump actually scares the Oligarchs-in-charge of the media and the word has been passed that the “horserace” narrative is no longer operative; we are now working the “dumpster fire” angle.

      • malsperanza

        Leaving out the whole yaddayadda oligarchs/evil overlords thing, Turnip scares the crap out of everyone, including the decent, upright, patriotic, and dedicated people who work for newspapers and sometimes own them.

        • Celtic_Gnome

          Damn. Posted on the wrong comment. Hate that.

  • cheetojeebus

    Word is he had the funds converted into diamonds and precious metals which he then cast into a black hawk statue.

    • Celtic_Gnome

      Ooh, I want to know who gets cast in the Peter Lorre role that everyone looks at as a good fall guy when things go south. My vote’s for Katrina!

  • Beanz&Berryz

    “The suggestion that I accepted cash payments is unfounded, silly and nonsensical.” Of course it is. Only a idiot would take $12M in cash. It was wired…

    • bubbuhh

      Mebbe, that wuz plane unloading sacks uv cash Trump remembers.

    • AngryKatie

      Yep. Whenever someone like this makes a carefully parsed statement you can bet that the truth lies in what he’s not saying. He didn’t say he wasn’t paid, just that he wasn’t paid CASH.

      A lot like I didn’t have “sex” with that woman. Which, weirdly, Trump spent a chunk of yesterday blathering about.

      • Beanz&Berryz

        Which woman didn’t he have sex with? :)

        • AngryKatie

          He went on at lengthy about Lewinsky and the blue dress and Bill’s lying at his rally yesterday.

          Lewinsky is awful close to Lewindowski. He’s mad at Lewindowksi for tweeting, maybe that makes him think Lewinsky…

          • Beanz&Berryz

            It really is amazing that the blue dress is still such a thing with RWNJs. Even still. And to morph it around to a thing about Hillary… my gosh…

          • AngryKatie

            Right? It’s bizarre.

          • Celtic_Gnome

            Look how long they yelled “Chappaquiddick!” whenever one of their own got caught in a sex scandal. Ted had to fucking die to get that shit to stop.

          • doktorzoom

            It’s stopped?

          • Beanz&Berryz

            I know. I sometimes wonderbif srt of their love of that term wasn’t that they got to say dick in public.

    • Aquaria

      Only an idiot would take a wire transfer. That can be traced.

      Now diamonds…

      • Beanz&Berryz

        are foreevarrrr….

  • boyblue122

    Paul Manafort scheduled to play the henchman to the new Bond villain in the next upcoming movie:

    Cheeto-fingers

    • Duke

      They’ve done an evil newspaper man. *hint*

      Why not an evil presidential candidate?

    • HobbesEvilTwin

      I heard the next one was “Dr. Know Nothing”

      • boyblue122

        hahaha

    • malsperanza

      Shortfinger. It’s a sequel. They’re getting Shirley Bassey back for the theme song.

      • Bear OmNomNom

        ♫ The man with the golden face…… ♫

    • wurman
  • Relativicus

    Hey, whaddya know? Cash payments from a corrupt foreign government do, as a matter of fact, constitute a “private business model.” I had never put two and tax avoision (it’s a word!) together before!

    • Steely_Fan

      Noice!

  • Relativicus

    Again I say that CNN should be compelled, by law, to permanently incorporate Corey Lewandowski’s face into their logo.

  • Duke

    “No cash.”

    $12m would be hard to lift. He would have gotten it by bank transfer, morans.

    • Aquaria

      Or diamonds. More portable, less traceable.

  • Kavefish

    Oh, okay…

    So *this* is why Trump won’t release his tax returns.

  • Recipriversexclusons

    What’s new about the Paul Manafort allegations is the “little black book” cash allocations. His involvement with political lobbying on behalf of foreign governments has been a matter of speculation (actually, not so much speculation) for years.

    Even though Wikipedia calls for citation for verification, you’re welcome to see if you can source some evidence on these claims;

    Association with Jonas Savimbi
    In 1985, Manafort’s firm, BMSK, signed a $600,000 contract with Jonas Savimbi, the leader of the Angolan rebel group UNITA, to refurbish Savimbi’s image in Washington and secure financial support on the basis of his anti-communism.

    Lobbying for other foreign leaders
    Manafort accepted $900,000 yearly to lobby for Ferdinand Marcos. He was also involved in lobbying for Mobutu Sese Seko of Zaïre and attempted to recruit Siad Barre of Somalia as a client. His firm also lobbied on behalf of the governments of the Dominican Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Kenya (between $660–750,000 yearly 1991 and 1993), and Nigeria ($1 million in 1991). These activities led Manafort’s firm to be listed amongst the top five lobbying firms receiving money from human-rights abusing regimes in the Center for Public Integrity report “The Torturer’s Lobby”.

    Involvement in the Karachi Affair
    Manafort wrote the campaign strategy for Edouard Balladur in the 1995 elections, and admitted to having been paid under the table (at least $200,000).

    Lobbying for Viktor Yanukovych and involvement in Ukrainian politics
    Manafort also worked as an adviser on the Ukrainian presidential campaign of Viktor Yanukovych (and his Party of Regions during the same time span) from December 2004 until the February 2010 Ukrainian presidential election even as the U.S. government (and US Senator John McCain) opposed Yanukovych because of his ties to Russia’s leader Vladimir Putin.[…]

    For those of you who are interested the Center for Public Integrity’s “The Torturer’s Lobby”, it’s a PDF.
    Here’s the link;

    http://cloudfront-files-1.publicintegrity.org/legacy_projects/pdf_reports/THETORTURERSLOBBY.pdf

    • malsperanza

      Jesus, every slimy, mass-murderous, criminal dictator on the planet except Mugabe and that guy in North Korea.

      He seems nice.

      • Beaumarchais?

        Let’s hope he has some time free in November…

  • alwayspunkindrublic

    OT, but for the love of GOD, NPR, would please just stop! Quit getting your “experts” to parse, or translate, or assemble the virulent verbal sewage that spews from Trump’s cakehole into a sentient “message”, or “position”, or “belief set”. Just. Fucking. Stop.

    • BrianW

      Remember the new meaning for NPR: Nice Polite Republicans.

  • Biel_ze_Bubba

    WTF did Manafort do (allegedy) that was worth $12,700,000?

    That’s not exactly a consultant fee.

    • bubbuhh

      Mebbe, he “consulted” several times a day for many many days.

    • boyblue122

      Did he come up with the idea to have “voting booth watchers” to help put the Ukranian leader in power

    • OddMan

      That is one part of this story that is odd. Where did they Ukrainians come up with this kind of money for ‘political consulting’? That’s damned expensive.
      Was it a money laundering deal? Is it a made up number? Is Manafort actually an international spy for hire? And where is this money?
      Inquiring minds want to know.

      • malsperanza

        Might as well ask where the leaders of Haiti or Congo get their bribe money. They always seem to have plenty.

        • OddMan

          After reading more, a million$ here and a million$ there were nothing. Bribing and corruption seem to run on a cash basis, and they had a ton of it.

          • malsperanza

            Russian mobsters with suitcases full of cash are inflating the price of luxury flats in NYC and London. Whole highrises are being built and sold as condos for them–some staggering number of such units remain empty, because they are not meant to be lived in, but are dumping grounds for laundered cash.

            This has always happened in big capital cities; the Chinese are doing it too, and before them it was the Saudis, Emirates oil barons, various African warlords, and moguls from everywhere. But the scale of the Russian cash is staggering. At least two apartments in Manhattan have sold for $100 million each, and one is going on the market this year for $250 million.

            The Russian thieves are siphoning extraordinary quantities of moolah out of their economy. The place isn’t an oligarchy; it’s a kleptocracy.

    • malsperanza

      Ukraine was buying access, probably to both Putin and rightwing supporters in the US.

      • Celtic_Gnome

        Hell, they could have gotten that by donating a couple dozen grand to the Clinton Foundation.

    • Aquaria

      Isn’t the Ukraine where they boil people alive as a punishment?

    • Aquaria

      Also:

      If the sexual services rumors are true, it may essentially be pimp fees. There’s always money in sexual exploitation.

  • Angela Ruzzo

    Wow! $12.7 million! Paul Manafort likes to live well. I could live in considerable luxury on $1 million. I could live in great comfort on the INTEREST on $1 million.

    • HanBarbara

      You’d have to take some risks, with .5% being the return on a typical passbook savings account. Unless you are very frugal.

      • malsperanza

        Not that we’re sticking it to S&Ls (those that are left), or credit unions, or local community banks. Fuck no.

        Meanwhile, mutual funds are returning 6% to 8% this year. Way to invest in local businesses, hellyeah! USA! USA! USA!

      • Jeffery Campbell

        Can you even find a hog for 50 large in California?

      • Angela Ruzzo

        There’s always some risk, even with savings accounts, as banks just love to restructure their fee schedules without warning, which can eat up any interest you might be getting. My ex-bank started charging $6 per month for checking account paper statements, without advance notice, and this was more than I was earning on a small savings account at that same bank, which meant negative interest. Mutual funds can get you 5-6% if you are savvy, or your advisor is savvy, with low to moderate risk. And yes, I can live in considerable comfort on $50,000-$60,000 in the Midwest and in many parts of the world. Everyone’s definition of “comfort” is slightly different.

    • I Only Like Cats

      If it makes you feel any better, I have two dream houses. One would cost somewhere around $7-10 million, and the other would cost $200,000-$400,000. If I had his money, I could probably get the small one and live off of the interest for the rest of my life (and I’m not even old enough to drink).

      • Angela Ruzzo

        It sounds very nice, you have obviously given it a lot of thought.

        If I had lots of money, I would rent instead of buying, then I could stay in a villa on the Riviera for a few months, then go off to a cottage in Cornwall, and then maybe a chalet in Switzerland or an apartment in Paris. . .Stay as long as I liked, then move on to something new. I am old, and don’t want to be tied down to real estate any longer. I had fun with that for 30 years, but it’s not fun anymore.

        • I Only Like Cats

          I moved a lot as a child. I’m ready for location permanence now.

          • Kavefish

            Word.

            Neighbors in my (small) apartment complex think it’s weird I’ve been here more than ten years. My reason is the same as yours.

          • Angela Ruzzo

            Owning your own home is a life changer and very satisfying. But then you get old, and it’s suddenly a lot of work. But I hope you find what you are looking for, and I know you will love it when you do.

    • malsperanza

      That depends. If you invest the way Turnip does, the interest would be -5%.

    • JustDon’tSayDittos

      “If I had a million dollars,…”

      • JustDon’tSayDittos

        “..but not a real green dress, that’s cruel”

  • Oblios_Cap

    Paul’s probably telling the truth; he received no cash. All of the payments were made by wire transfer.

  • malsperanza

    I mean, Manafort’s role in Ukraine has been known since he first turned up in the Turnip campaign. But kudos to the NYT for taking the gloves off and actually making a big story out of it.

    Now for a follow-up, in which some astute, thoughtful interviewer like, say, Chris Matthews or George Stephanopolos,* gets Turnip alone and asks him to elaborate on his views on Ukraine and Crimea without Manafort nearby to slip him cliff notes.

    *Are these the right names for hard-hitting, honest, incisive reporters? Like Walter Cronkite/Edward R. Murrow types? I do not watch the TV news.

    • AngryKatie

      I’m not sure we have anyone like Cronkite or Murrow now.
      Even if reporters are inclined, their corporate overlords don’t seem to be.

      • Steely_Fan

        Well, as I always do, I’ma put in a word for Rachel Maddow. She’s smart & fearless; I think Teh Donald would sooner wrassle a grizzly than face off with her.

        • Celtic_Gnome

          Can you imagine the word salad that would erupt out of him if they announced her as moderator for one of the debates?

          • Steely_Fan

            ‘Twould be wondrous’ t’ see!

    • Lamashtar

      I heard nice things about Chris Cuomo but then someone said he’s gone to begging for the Trumpies to come back so he can be nice to them, like Megyn Kelly did.

  • Biel_ze_Bubba

    I bet the IRS is really, really interested in this story. It ain’t every day they get a lead on $12MM in unreported income. I hope Manafort is eating antacids like they were M&Ms.

    • HanBarbara

      He also did not register as a foreign lobbyist. If he was actually paid for his services, that could complicate his life, too.

    • Lamashtar

      Audits are the IRS’ ‘Stop and Frisk.

  • Fartknocker

    Well I gotta give Manafort kudos because here in Texas our AG Ken Paxton only made a quarter of $1m selling shitty stocks for some super-duper servers that didn’t do as promised. He has a pending criminal case, is being asked by several folks and newspapers to step down, all while while being sued by the SEC. Clearly Manafort knows how to game the system and has access to hackers.

    The history book editors will have a hoot writing about the 2016 POTUS elections.

    • I Only Like Cats

      They’ll probably be wondering how people could be so crazy and stupid as to trust Trump, much as we do with Nazi Germany.

    • malsperanza

      Yeah, and Paxton didn’t even involve a foreign government or do any undermining of sovereign states. Total amateur! Bad! Lame! He deserves to be prosecuted. That’s how it works in this country: you only get indicted if you do it badly.

    • Ducksworthy

      Paxton’s mistake was that he thought Texas was already a dictatorship but in wasn’t quite ripe.

  • Mahousu

    I also have a “private business model” which involves people secretly handing me stacks of $100 bills. It’s a great model; I just need a few volunteers to take me up on it.

    • mardam422

      Your business model is pretty sound. I’m just not sure you’re directing it to the right people. Try lowering the denomination of the bills to $20s, and direct your ad campaign to old, white Republicans. Sure thing.

      • Toomush_Infer

        Be sure to include Killary in your website heading…

    • Mehmeisterjr

      You could start small by swiping clothes from Sears.

    • Usedtobeyellerdawg

      Are you Lori’s roommate? Nice to finally meet you!

  • Aquaria

    You play with fire, Trump, you get burned. You thought you could get the Russians to do some of your dirty work, and then they dirty work you.

    • BrianW

      I would have thought “Lewandowski” was more of a Polish or German name, but I could be wrong.

      • Aquaria

        There’s some historic overlap in there with the Poles. Comes with having some confused boundaries over the years.

        • BrianW

          Oh, absolutely. I perhaps should have said, “Polish and/or Prussian.”

        • JustDon’tSayDittos

          “confused boundaries” is an interesting euphemism for ‘Blitzkrieg’.

      • h4rr4r

        ski means polish or russian.
        German names do not end in ski.

        • BrianW

          I was going to try and argue that some of the Prussian nobility had names that ended with “ski.” However, after doing some checking before posting, I discovered that what I thought I remembered was incorrect. Thanks for the correction (no snark implied or intended there).

  • mrpuma2u

    Wow that’s some sweet cash, Paul. Hope you didn’t spend it all in one place. I think the Donald’s campaign could use some right about now.

    • jmk

      LOL Yes, Drumpflethinskin’s reaction to the news was probably “so, 12 mill? Can you float me a small loan?”

  • AngryKatie

    Maybe The Times will turn this into a series. They’ve only scratched the surface of his dealings with Russian oligarchs, and then there’s time he was working for Ferdinand Marcos when Marcos was overthrown, there’s the Karachi affair and his efforts on behalf of arms dealers, his lobbying for a front group for Pakistani’s spy agency, his lobbying for African warlords…

    Would be nice if they included Roger Stone too, as he’s been Manafort’s business partner for most of this.

  • wurman

    In my various forays into the sordid world of unseemly illegal cash transactions, it has always turned out, at a 100% rate in my experiences, that people do not, have not, will not, and never write down, in longhand, on “secret” ledgers transactions that did not actually take place. Capiche?

    • Recipriversexclusons

      Sure, if you say so… Then the Panama Papers are complete fiction?

      • wurman

        Misread? My comment is that if it’s written down, it happened.

        • Recipriversexclusons

          Ah, my bad. Turns out it’s not what you read but how you read it.
          My apologies!

          • wurman

            Yeah. My bad also. I intentionally wrote a convoluted, bass-ackwards, quintuple negative sentence to be more sarcastic. It’s like if the bookie hand wrote in his “book” that he paid Pete Rose $5,000 you can convict, ayeh? Or more better, if the call girl writes in her “book” that Elliot Spitzer paid her $4,000 for a night in the hotel suite, you can get a sure-fire resignation. So if Sam Giancana’s bookkeeper writes down that the mob “set aside” ten large for hizzoner, was the cash delivered? But, I guess in Ukraine that’s silly.

    • marxalot

      So what you’re saying is, they only write it down if it did happen.

      • wurman

        Well, only the crooks I became aware of. There may be Ukrainian moguls who fabricated longhand ledgers years ago just to implicate Manafort in the future, but USA thugs only write down actual payouts.

        • Lamashtar

          So what you’re saying is, Hillary did it.

          • wurman

            Maybe . . . or more likely whosomever forged Barry Soetoro’s Hawaiian certificate of live birth, put the birth notices in both Honolulu newspapers 40 years before Barry ran for Preznint, filed away the genuine Kenyan birth certificate for Obama about 2 years before British East Africa became Kenya, and stuff . . . !

      • wurman

        Yes, yes, and more yes.

  • Recipriversexclusons

    BTW, in my non-comment below about Manafort’s foreign government lobbying, I included a link to a “Center for Public Integrity” PDF. Just a note to say they are involved with “International Consortium of Investigative Journalists”, the group that broke the Panama Papers.

    “The far-reaching investigation was carried out by the ICIJ, German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and about 370 journalists from more than 70 countries.”

    Here’s the Center’s website link for extracurricular reading;
    https://www.publicintegrity.org/

  • mardam422

    Maybe he should just have taken payment in Ukrainian mail order brides. I hear that’s a thing. How much is $12.7 million in Ukrainian mail order brides?

    • jmk

      Well, that would depend on the strength of the pre-nup.

  • jmhm

    I am amused that Donald Trump’s campaign manager also has a private business model in which he does not receive money.

  • JVisconti

    Messa in Odessa?

    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Crime-ea in Crimea?

      • btwbfdimho

        Craving Crimean Caviar, Camaradas.

      • JustDon’tSayDittos

        Crimea river, whydontcha?

  • jmhm

    And, Dr. Jill has jumped on the rigged election bandwagon. Because there’s no way a woman who came within a few people of winning an election in her super-liberal college-educated home town wouldn’t be winning this shit after she pushed Sanders and his supporters out if the fix wasn’t in.

    • beavertank

      The only possible explanation for a person to lose when they have no party infrastructure to rely on, no long list of voters and volunteers and donors to call on, and absolutely no ground game anywhere is clearly because the election is rigged.

      “Oh no, I didn’t do a shit job of running after years of not bothering to do the pre-work that would be required for an even marginally successful shot, I was plainly robbed of it you see.”

      • sw19womble

        Trump or Stein?

        • beavertank

          Yes.

    • malsperanza

      She, and people like her, have been around on the fringes of every election. I’m beginning to think it’s time to stop giving her the bandwidth. She doesn’t have the pull to do a Nader in Florida thing. She will merely attract some small portion of people who would otherwise probably vote for Trump or write in Bernie. These are negligible numbers.

      Which doesn’t mean she isn’t a moron.

      • Lamashtar

        I’m beginning to think left and right are pointless descriptions for politics. Too many on either side are shockingly comfy with other crooks. Look at the way the Wikileaks Party in Australia shifted their influence to a hardcore gun party there. One Wiki party spox said that people were ‘mistakenly’ under the impression the party was leftwing.

  • anon_the_great

    Wow. And I had hoped the fascist yam’s mob connections were only domestic.

  • btwbfdimho

    Great article, Dr. Z.

    • doktorzoom

      Thanks!

    • britishvoiceman

      And he makes some great guitar amps……..damn, wrong Dr Z!

  • OddMan

    I highly recommend reading the NYT article, even check out the comments. I looked the the most liked and the NYT Editors picks and there are a hell of a lot of people out there who think this Russian connection to Mr. Trump needs to be looked into closely. There are letters that start with the phrase ‘I’m scared’, and these are NYT readers.
    Maybe, just maybe this will be the item that crashes Mr. Trump’s campaign completely. But not so much that he quits, just fails even more.

    PS I think I have made this same screed a couple of times before about other stupid Trumpisms, so there is that.

    • Hope springs eternal, so keep screeding for the stars.

    • cat cafe

      Although, to be fair, I’m one of the people commenting, although mine went more like “this is disgraceful and appalling” (I use my big words for the NYT).

      • OddMan

        I wonder what the Venn Diagram for people that comment at the NYT and people that comment here, looks like?
        If we had commenting.

        • Zyxomma

          I used to, when I could afford a subscription. Now I just go there undercover.

      • handyhippie65

        as opposed to “this is fucked up, and scummier than a stagnant pond”?

  • Blank Ron

    Worse comes to worst, I imagine CNN is hiring.

  • OddMan

    One of the better comments I heard about this Manafort fiasco.
    If this isn’t investigated, and investigated, and investigated some more, then we’ll all know that Hillary Clinton has been held to a completely different standard than anyone else.

    • malsperanza

      Well color me shocked.

      • Vickijsherman4

        <<fb. ★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★::::::!il251r:….,…..

  • ExpatGirl

    In other news, Trump is still trying to raise campaign money from foreigners according to at least one MP in Oz. It is driving me nuts that no-one in the media is asking if he is also soliciting for campaign contributions from his Ruskie friends. Is he literally selling Putin a stake in the election?

    • sw19womble

      Never mind Putin, the fact that fundraising/soliciting/ receiving unsolicited funds frim any external country or citizen IS FUCKING ILLEGAL.

      • Jennaratrix

        Not that I want to defend this in any way, but these funds (if he received them) were paid to him personally for services rendered, not to the Trump campaign. Just as bad and morally/politically suspect, but not necessarily illegal.

        • What services rendered!?!?!

          • Jennaratrix

            He helped put Putin’s puppet in power in Ukraine. He was basically Yanukovych’s campaign manager.

          • Well yes but services rendered sounds dirtier than even illegal political shenanigans.

          • Jennaratrix

            I was actually pretty careful about my word choice – because as far as I’m concerned, Manafort is a whore.

          • ;)

          • britishvoiceman

            I suspect most ladies of the night would resent being compared to that creep.

          • Jennaratrix

            Fair enough. ;)

        • sw19womble

          ““We’ve set another Trump-sized goal to raise another $10 million by Thursday at midnight. Please chip in what you can to help make Donald J. Trump the next President of the United States,” said the email, which was sent to Gale’s official parliamentary account.”
          Clearly fundraising, by his campaign.

  • Tio_Doidinho

    So my initial suspicions were correct – Paul Manafort is Uncle Duke made flesh.

  • thenearesthippie

    Don’t look over here! Look over there! Benghazi! Emails! Clinton Foundation! Squirrel!

  • Blackest Noobs

    remember when just a mere 10 years ago having pretty much any foreign influence was the death knell of your campaign.

    • JustDon’tSayDittos

      Billy Carter’s on line 2

    • CynicalOptimist

      All those months ago.

  • Usedtobeyellerdawg

    Lock him up! Lock him up!

    • sw19womble

      Sanitarium or prison?

      • Kavefish

        Yes.

      • phoenix00

        I propose a dunk-tank of Rio Olympic pool water. With the wrong chemicals.

  • Bear OmNomNom

    “That Anastasia’s really something else. I’d detain her in a palace for a couple years, then murder her and dump her in a shallow grave, if she weren’t my daughter.”

  • UnsaltedSinner

    I would have loved to be a fly on the wall at the moment Putin realized he could buy an American election.

    • sw19womble

      I’d love to be a fly on the wall when Putin realises Trump has sold him a pig-in-a-poke, like he was just another rube in Atlantic City or on one of his crass golf courses.

      • The thing that’s so wonderful about this is that Russia is Trump’s last frontier for finding banks that will work with him. If he fails to deliver on this, they’re going to cut him off, too. That will be SO delightful.

        • Slavakitty

          Especially when he finds out what happens when you try to stiff these guys. They play rough.

    • malsperanza

      Yeah, not really. As Obama keeps reminding us, voter fraud on that scale would require intervening in the state, county, and local election commissions in 50 states.

      But buying a major political party? Turns out that was not even terribly expensive.

  • Cliff Hendroval

    I was always under the impression that Manafort was a cheap bagman. Now I can see he’s a fairly expensive one.

    • beavertank

      Nah, he just looks cheap on account of the shoddy quality.

  • sosuume

    Favorite of the day…

  • I’m sure the whole Manafort-Ukraine-Russia scandal involved sex but just not as a central point.

  • CJTX

    Dok, ya got a typo in the lead. I don’t think Manafort is the campaign “manger”…at least I hope not. ;)

    • doktorzoom

      At least I didn’t put Ukraine in Canada this time.

  • TanzbodenKoenig

    Я за один приветствовать наших новых повелителей Трамп!

  • Enfant Terrible

    You people are not looking into this deeply enough. Isn’t it obvious? The Russians are well-educated, civilized people. They love their kids just like everyone else. They’re not going to roll the dice with a loose cannon like Don-Don. So what’s going on here? It’s obvious! This is all a false flag operation where the Russians are *pretending* to influence the U.S. election in favor of Don-Don, but what they are really doing here is influencing the election in favor of Hillary! It’s so obvious! They hack the DNC’s computers, but not those of the GOP. They pretend to give Don-Don’s campaign manager (Paul Manafort) millions of dollars for services rendered. Putin pretends to admire Don-Don when only a recent head trauma victim would do so publicly. They put Don-Don and his entire campaign under a cloud of suspicition. IT IS SO OBVIOUS!!!

    There you go, folks. That’s my audition tape for conspiracy-theory-crazed-radio-host. Send my membership card and tinfoil hat to:

    Enfant Terrible
    P.O. Box 666
    Sebastopol, CA
    (nuclear-free city!)
    (northern Californians will get the reference!)

    • phoenix00

      What a hellish address

      Sonoma County, however, is gorgeous.

  • Paperless Tiger

    You know, the actual definition of ‘dictator’ is not ‘an elected official that I don’t particularly care for’.

    • Mezzaluna

      Are we taking about Obama or Putin?

  • Celtic_Gnome

    And Donald Trump is too dim to realize that this gives people a perfect comeback when they ramp up their Clinton Foundation Taking Money From Foreign Actors In Return For Special Favors rant.

  • Enfant Terrible

    Paul Manafort to Deadbeat Don: “Why don’t you pass the time by playing a little solitaire?”

  • badlybrowned

    Something that IS a matter of public record was that Manafort was the errand boy for Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos, and may have been responsible for diverting billions of dollars STOLEN FROM OUR COUNTRY into Reagan’s reelection funds in exchange for favors, support, and later, an evacuation to Hawaii when we finally got our shit together and kicked Marcos out. He also assisted Marcos in hiding money in Swiss banks. Fuck him.

  • bptr

    You should check your article for typos.
    Oh, and I could tell Manafort was a crook the momemt I first saw him just by the way he looks and talks.
    Christopher McDonald will play him perfectly in the movie.

Previous articleHilarious New Jersey Law Requires Lesbians To Bone Guys
Next articleThe Guy Who Makes These Comics Just Really Gets Women