The Federal Bureau of Investigations has opened an inquiry into Donald Trump’s presidential campaign over the connections between top leadership of the Republican ticket and foreign governments, particularly those governments with ties to Russia’s Vladimir Putin.
The target of the examination is Republican fixer Paul Manafort, who up until recently was Trump’s campaign manager, who orchestrated many of the events in front of an international audience and behind the scenes within the Republican Party for the nominee.
The FBI has been conducting a preliminary inquiry into Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort’s foreign business connections, law enforcement and intelligence sources told NBC News Monday.
Word of the inquiry, which has not blossomed into a full-blown criminal investigation, comes just days after FBI Director James Comey’s disclosure that his agency is examining a new batch of emails connected to an aide to Hillary Clinton.
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) recently released a letter to FBI Director James Comey discussing “explosive information about close ties and coordination between Donald Trump, his top advisors, and the Russian government.” Reid was lambasting Comey for his announcement that the agency was looking into emails related to Sec. Hillary Clinton, made just days before the 2016 election, but his failure to alert congressional leaders about the Trump probe.
Manafort was pushed out of the Trump campaign in favor of Breitbart CEO Steve Bannon and pollster Kellyanne Conway, after the New York Times and other outlets investigated alleged under the table payments that had been made to Manafort when he worked for pro-Putin elements in the Ukraine.
The Trump campaign has been under fire for its cozy posture towards Putin and his autocratic government. Trump has refused to criticize the Russian strongman, instead praising him and his style of governance.
During the Republican Convention, the Trump team even had some language in the official party platform softened, so as not to come across as adversarial with Putin.
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