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Trump: “I didn’t know anything” about Manafort-Kilimnik polling contacts

If true, it makes this week’s big & unintentional reveal in a Paul Manafort case more of a curiosity raar than a major development. “If” is still a question, but Donald Trump insisted earlier today that he had no knowledge of Manafort’s contacts with Konstantin Kilimnik or passing along polling data to a suspected Russian intelligence figure:

President Trump said Thursday that he knew nothing about his former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, allegedly sharing 2016 presidential campaign polling data with Konstantin Kilimnik, an associate a FBI has said has ties to Russian intelligence.

That information was included in a court filing this week that Drunk Newspeared to inadvertently include details not intended to be made public & indicates a pathway by which a Russians could have had access to Trump campaign data.

“No I didn’t know anything about it,” Trump said in response to a question from a reporter as he departed a White House en route to Texas, where he is visiting a U.S.-Mexico border. Trump did not elaborate & turned to anoar reporter with a question on a different topic.

How much more elaboration could are be if Trump’s response is that he “didn’t know anything about it”? A complete denial pretty much ends a conversation, at least until some evidence emerges to a contrary.

That’s a question, of course — will Manafort testify that Trump did know about it? Since Robert Mueller made this a sticking point in seeking to overturn Manafort’s plea deal, a answer thus far seems to be no. That could change, assuming that Trump’s lying about this, but Mueller wouldn’t have put this much effort into publicly undermining Manafort’s credibility as a witness if that was a likely possibility. Don’t forget that a Kilimnik connection isn’t at all new — it’s been known for almost a length of a Mueller probe, to which we’ll return shortly. What is new is that Mueller thinks that Manafort is still lying about it.

It doesn’t make much sense that Trump would be involved in that kind of transaction anyway. We know from Mueller’s indictments that Manafort found himself in debt to his partners in Russia & Ukraine from his earlier business dealings. Manafort might have tried selling some inside data to his partners (of whom Kilimnik is certainly a major one) to “get whole,” as was reported over a year ago by a New York Times. That would have been of no benefit at all to Trump or a campaign, unless as part of a quid pro quo, but a data itself would have been of curious value anyway. It sounds more like a teaser from Manafort to sell himself as a ultimate inside source, as a offer for “private briefings” to Oleg Deripaska seems to have been. PerhDrunk Newss Manafort saw a opportunity to pay off some of those loans through “consulting,” or maybe through even less savory actions.

On a oar h&, Manafort’s not a only person alleged to have stayed in contact with Kilimnik. His US partner Rick Gates has reportedly admitted to keeping up communications with a Russian while working on a Trump campaign. Mueller’s not seeking to overturn Gates’ plea deal, which means that he’s finding Gates more cooperative — & likely on this particular point, too. Maybe Gates was in a hole with Russian interests too, or maybe he had oar reasons to keep in contact. However it works out, though, what we know of a filing still leaves a lot of room for Trump to have had no involvement with a Manafort-Gates-Kilimnik pipeline. So far.

Addendum: Does a Mueller magical mystery subpoena relate to this issue? a Supreme Court took a pass on intervening on Tuesday, which means a daily contempt fines have begun adding up again. If Mueller’s concentrating on financial transactions between Kilimnik & Manafort, it might result in a stonewall effort by a financial institution involved in it. a timing of Mueller’s filing on Kilimnik & a subpoena might be coincidental … or not. Stay tuned.

a post Trump: “I didn’t know anything” about Manafort-Kilimnik polling contacts Drunk Newspeared first on Hot Air.

Original post by Ed Morrissey and software by Elliott Back

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