DONALD TRUMP

Trump Campaign Chief Manafort's Associate Kilimnik Gave Russia 2016 Election Strategy, Polling, U.S. Says

Jonathan Ernst | Reuters
  • A longtime associate of former President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign chief Paul Manafort gave Russian intelligence agencies "sensitive information on polling and campaign strategy" during the election that year, the U.S. Treasury Department said.
  • Manafort's associate, Konstantin Kilimnik, "also sought to promote the narrative that Ukraine, not Russia, had interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election," the department said Thursday as the Biden administration announced new sanctions on Russia, Kilimnik and others.
  • Those sanctions relate in part to Russia's alleged effort to affect the outcome of the 2020 U.S. presidential election.
Konstantin Kilimnik, as he appears on an FBI poster.
Source: FBI
Konstantin Kilimnik, as he appears on an FBI poster.

A longtime associate of former President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign chief Paul Manafort gave Russian intelligence agencies "sensitive information on polling and campaign strategy" during the election that year, the U.S. Treasury Department said Thursday.

Manafort's associate, Konstantin Kilimnik, "also sought to promote the narrative that Ukraine, not Russia, had interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election," the Treasury Department said as the Biden administration announced new sanctions on Russia, Kilimnik and others.

Those sanctions relate in part to Russia's alleged effort to affect the outcome of the 2020 U.S. presidential election.

Kilimnik, a Russian and Ukrainian political consultant who worked for years with the longtime Republican political operative and consultant Manafort, previously has been identified as a known agent for Russian intelligence services.

Former special counsel Robert Mueller, who investigated Russian interference in the 2016 election, in 2018 accused Manafort of lying about sharing polling data with Kilimnik during the 2016 campaign, according to a prior court filing by Manafort's lawyer.

Trump in 2019 denied knowing anything about Manafort giving Kilimnik polling data.

Trump himself for years disputed the idea, widely accepted by U.S. intelligence agencies, that Russia had interfered in the 2016 election that ended with his victory.

Kilimnik was indicted in 2017 along with Manafort on U.S. federal charges of obstruction of justice and conspiracy to obstruct justice regarding lobbying work.

That work was related to efforts by Kilimnik and Manafort, 70, to restore former Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych to power.

Kilimnik has never been arrested in the U.S. case. He is believed to be in Russia. The FBI has offered a reward of up to $250,000 for information leading to his arrest.

Manafort, who was convicted at one trial and who pleaded guilty before another trial of crimes related to his work in Ukraine, was pardoned last December by Trump, a month before the ex-president left office.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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