Accuracy in Media

With research by Mark Musser*

Donald J. Trump said it was a “great honor” to be complimented by Russia’s Vladimir Putin. What’s significant is what the New York businessman has done to earn this praise. He pursued deals in the old Soviet Union and Russia and, as a presidential candidate, has hired little-known “experts” like Carter Page, an adviser to Russian gas company Gazprom.

Another curious Trump hire is Republican insider Paul Manafort, a “fixer” who has a history of doing business in the former Soviet Union. After taking a job as Trump’s delegate hunter, Manafort swiftly accused Trump’s main opponent, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), of using Gestapo-like tactics in the presidential race.

But it’s Manafort who has something to explain and answer for. He did consulting work in Ukraine for the pro-Russian candidate, Victor Yanukovych. Manafort was called “Ukraine’s Fixer” when the country was under the yoke of Moscow, the Russians were desperate to remain in control, and the people of Ukraine were crying out for freedom and ties to the West.

Interestingly, Manafort’s former business partner is Roger Stone, a former adviser to Trump who now runs a pro-Trump Super PAC. He wrote a book, popular on Russian TV, insisting that President John F. Kennedy wasn’t killed by a communist conspiracy based in Moscow or Havana, but was murdered on orders from his vice-president, Lyndon B. Johnson.

The publication Politico reported that when Stone once tried to re-establish contact with Manafort, he sent out an email to a small group of friends asking, “Where is Paul Manafort?” and wondering if he had been seen “chauffeuring Yanukovych around Moscow.”

It’s funny, but may not have been that far off the mark.

With no small thanks to what was described as Manafort’s maniacal efforts, Yanukovych was elected president of Ukraine in 2010. One of Manafort’s former colleagues went so far as to say, “Yanukovych came to power through a series of elections and would never have won without Manafort’s counsel.” Indeed, Yanukovych had to overcome the Orange Revolution of 2004 which he himself provoked by allegedly trying to steal the election from Victor Yuschenko. Before the 2004 presidential election, Yuschenko was poisoned with dioxin. When Yanukovych tried to steal the election during the vote itself, this provoked the Orange Revolution in which hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians protested on the streets of Kiev. Yanukovych backed down. There was a re-election. Yuschenko won the revote.

It was after the Orange Revolution that Manafort offered his campaign services to Yanukovych.  Even some Bush administration officials were puzzled by Manafort’s efforts in Ukraine, as he was working for the wrong side. Yanukovych’s political fortunes quickly recovered so that he was able to make a breathtaking comeback all the way to the highest office in the land in Ukraine in 2010. However, after four years into Yanukovych’s presidency, the people of Ukraine once again took to the streets in massive numbers protesting his corrupt activities that even made Ukrainian politicians blush. Thus, in the end, the Orange Revolution came back to negate Manafort’s accomplishments, but this time with bloodshed on the streets as some 100 people were killed and many more beaten.

The same political sentiments that created the Orange Revolution in 2004 did not disappear, but came roaring back with a vengeance when Ukrainians took to the streets of Kiev with more massive protests. Yanukovych then fled his presidential post in early 2014, and was overwhelmingly impeached from office 328-0 by the Ukrainian Parliament.

When Manafort was asked why he became a political advisor for Yanukovych, he replied that he was an outstanding leader who has been mischaracterized and misunderstood by his opponents. He elaborated further: “I am not here just for the election. I am trying to play a constructive role in developing a democracy. I am helping to build a political party.” But Yanukovych was always recognized as the candidate beholden to Russia.

Before 2008, Yanukovych’s political party, called the Party of Regions, worked closely with Manafort’s team, called Davis Manafort (out of Delaware with Rick Davis), to work against Victor Yuschenko’s pro-western administration. Manafort worked closely with Rick Davis for years as they own a lobbying firm together called Davis Manafort and Freedman (out of Arlington, Virginia).

Back home in the U.S., Manafort himself wanted to chair the 2008 Republican Convention.  However, he was rejected because of his reputation as a Washington insider and lobbyist. Rick Davis still became Senator John McCain’s (R-AZ) presidential campaign manager. While Manafort did provide some political advice to the McCain campaign, he returned to Kiev to devote himself more fully to Yanukovych.

Manafort had to understand who he was dealing with and representing.

Yanukovych joined the Communist Party in 1980 at the age of 30 and never looked back. During the 1980s he worked himself up the Communist Party ladder, occupying himself in the industrial heartland of southeastern Ukraine. During the 1990s, when the former Communists throughout the former Soviet Union took control of massive state companies, Yanukovych became the governor of the Donetsk Region. From 2002 to 2004, he was the Prime Minister of Ukraine under President Leonid Kuchma (1994-2004).

After the 2004 election debacle that stained Yanukovych’s political reputation, Manafort came to the rescue and worked on remaking his image. Yanukovych thus was able to become the Prime Minister again in 2006-07, and finally took the presidency in 2010, campaigning as a pro-Western government reformer riding on a white horse. It was all a big lie. Yanukovych had secretly negotiated a deal to bring the former Soviet republic back into Moscow’s sphere of influence.

Manafort is a Republican, no doubt. But his record of working for a pro-Russian ruler who was eventually forced into exile by his own people casts into doubt claims that he was at one point in his career a conservative who backed President Ronald Reagan’s anti-communist foreign policy.

The work for Putin’s pawn in Ukraine does fit into the troubling pattern of pro-Russian operatives who have gathered around the candidacy of Donald J. Trump.

*Mark Musser provided the research on Manafort’s efforts in Ukraine. Mark is a part-time pastor, author, missionary and professor who lives in Olympia, Washington. His book Nazi Oaks examines the ties between German environmentalism and the National Socialist (Nazi) movement.

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  • miguel i prado

    Very disturbing, but it fits a pattern. Why didn’t the Republican establishment do something about him? They could have exposed him, limited his influence and those of his partners you mention. Are there any secret pro-Putinistas in the establishment?

  • Jerry

    First off I would not believe anything Politico reports. I would want to start off with a clean slate with Russia, Obama was just a NonAmerica Terrorist, Obama did anything to agitate our enemies and to load them up with money like Iran. Obama has empowered our enemies he is even the Father of ISIS

  • jug

    The “pro-Putinest” here is Trump himself!
    He is infatuated with the “Great Leader”!
    And with his heavy investments in Russia, no matter how it goes down, Putin has Trump “by the short hairs”! Also, dont forget about Roger Stone! Trust him less than Hillary!

    “Move over Obama, make way for Putin’s newest bitch, Trump!”

    We may well go from Carter to Obama, on to Trump as the most dangerous, inept president of all time!
    With Putin, he is in, way, way over his head!

  • danjuangarza

    Dr. Jack Wheeler, TTPN, 4/20/16

    Manafort was deep in an illegal and treasonous bed with the creators of the Taliban and the supporters of Osama bin Laden. This is the man whom Donald Trump has running his campaign.

    Trump constantly brags how he hires only the best people. Yet he can’t even hire people who understand the Republican delegate selection process. How can anybody in their right mind think he’ll “hire the best people” to run the entire US government??

    The obvious truth is he hires the most incompetent and the worst – and the worst of them all, the most morally despicable, is Paul Manafort. The least Trump could do if he has a modicum of patriotism is fire him immediately and apologize to the American people for hiring him in the first place.

  • danjuangarza

    Dr. Jack Wheeler, TTPN, 4/20/16

    “Manafort was deep in an illegal and treasonous bed with the creators of the Taliban and the supporters of Osama bin Laden. This is the man whom Donald Trump has running his campaign.

    Trump constantly brags how he hires only the best people. Yet he can’t even hire people who understand the Republican delegate selection process. How can anybody in their right mind think he’ll “hire the best people” to run the entire US government??

    The obvious truth is he hires the most incompetent and the worst – and the worst of them all, the most morally despicable, is Paul Manafort. The least Trump could do if he has a modicum of patriotism is fire him immediately and apologize to the American people for hiring him in the first place.”

  • notme


  • RMThoughts

    The worst Kincaid can say about Manafortt is that he offered his campaign services to Yanukovych – a democratically elected President of Ukraine.

    What Kincaid overlooks is that the first Orange Revolution in the fall of 2004 produced Viktor Yushchenko – a corrupt operator and Yulia Tymoshenko, whose incompetence led to Viktor Yanukovych’s election victory in January 2010. He was just as incompetent and corrupt, but in the end he was a legal elected president of a united Ukraine.

    The West funded and aided the overthrow of the democratically elected chief of state in February of 2014. We now reap the rewards: a bankrupt economy in immediate need of some hundreds of billions of ready liquidity, a disintegrating country in fratricidal civil war.

    Kincaid knows but neocons won’t say that the people of Ukraine are not the nationalists at the Maidan. Ukraine’s nationalism is itself emerged in the Polish-ruled Volhynia and Galicia between the two world wars. Its capital is in Lvov, a predominantly Polish city until it was irreversibly changed by Nazi Banderists genocide during the war and by Stalin’s commissars afterwards.

    Ukraine’s eastern border was arbitrarily drawn in 1922 by Jewish Bolsheviks hell-bent on reducing Russia in size. It includes large areas and population centers that have as little historic or cultural connection to the borderland “Ukraine” as the Hungarian, Polish or Romanian regions of today’s Ukraine. Finally, the Crimean Peninsula was transferred to Ukraine from Russia by Nikita Khrushchev’s in February 1954.

    After the fall of the Yanukovych, courtesy of a US/EU sponsored putsch, the legally Crimeans voted for the third time since to the fall of the Soviet Union to become a part of the Russian Federation. The elections were declared by international observers as a free and fair election.

    I would more concerned with Kincaid’s altered reality than Manafort proudly working for an elected government in Ukraine and not the neo-nazi putschist regime that now rules Kiev that Cliff so admires..

  • bohdanknianicky

    I have always stated that Trump is no different from Obama. Hope and change mantra is now, making America great again. In any revolution, the government creates crisis and the people turn back to the government for help. Historically one regime is toppled and the next regime is worse. There still is time to reconsider and vote your brain not your heart. Trump is not the knight in shinning armor.

  • Erudite Mavin

    More of your Ron Paul talking points

  • Erudite Mavin

    What Cliff posted is common factual knowledge to all who research and much of the same on many conservative sites.
    There is no clean slate with Putin. He is not changing his Neo Soviet Union and his admitted admiration for Joseph Stalin and said the worst event of the 20th century was the Break up of the Soviet Union.

  • Erudite Mavin

    and more, this info on other sites , this one from Redstate.

    BREAKING. Trump “Convention Manager” Paul Manafort
    Lobbied For Pakistani Intelligence Front Group

    By: streiff (Diary) | April 18th, 2016

    A couple of weeks ago, Donald Trump, following the personnel selection instincts that have made his name
    synonymous with “YGTBFKM” hired an aging political fixer named Paul Manafort as his “convention manager.” Manafort is a seedy individual with a sleazy history.

    His supporters will tell you that he guided Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan to convention victories in 1976 and 1980, respectively. History
    tells a very different story and it doesn’t mention Manafort at all.
    For instance, Reagan showed up at the 1980 convention with enough delegates to win on the first ballot and with no opponents still actively campaigning. Since then Manafort has made a career out of lobbying the US government on behalf of
    torturers, murders, rapists, and general sadists that no other lobbyist would be associated with… and that is a very, very high bar to cross.

    Over the course of a long lobbying career in D.C., top Trump aide Paul Manafort and his firm made a fortune fronting for a group of clients once referred to as the “torturers’

    But over the years, they made millions by representing a rogue’s gallery of clients far away from D.C.’s genteel corridors of power: dictators, guerilla groups, and despots with no regard for human rights—including one man responsible for mass amputations, and another who oversaw state-sanctioned

    In more recent years, when he wasn’t allegedly sexually harassing women who worked for him, Manafort developed a bro-mance for Vladimir Putin, lobbied for a corrupt
    Ukrainian dictator who was a wholly owned subsidiary of Putin, and cavorted with a businessman who admitted to close ties to the Russian Mob. And he lobbied against Israel in the service of Saudi Arabia.

    Manafort’s ties to the dangerous, the unsavory, the criminal, and the psychopathic reeked to such an extent that
    when his name was put forward to “manage” the 2008 GOP Convention, John McCain said “not no but hell no.“

    Now we discover that Manafort was also a lobbyist for an astro-turf group, the Kashmiri American Council, that
    was actually a front organization for Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).

    If you haven’t followed the story, ISI is essentially an international terrorist group masquerading as national intelligence organization.

    US authorities describe the main Pakistani intelligence service as a terrorist organisation in secret files obtained by the Guardian.

    Recommendations to interrogators at Guantánamo Bay rank the Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI)
    alongside al-Qaida, Hamas and Hezbollah in Lebanon as threats. Being linked to any of these groups is an indication of terrorist or insurgent activity, the documents say.

    “Through associations with these … organisations, a detainee may have provided support to al-Qaida or the Taliban, or engaged in hostilities against US or coalition forces [in
    Afghanistan],” says the document, dated September 2007 and called the Joint Task Force Guantánamo Matrix of Threat Indicators for Enemy Combatants. It adds that links to these groups is evidence that an individual poses a future

    The revelation that the ISI is considered as much of a threat as al-Qaida and the Taliban will cause fury in Pakistan. It
    will further damage the already poor relationship between US intelligence services and their Pakistani counterparts, supposedly key allies in the hunt
    for Osama bin Laden and other Islamist militants in south Asia.

    Manafort collected nearly $1 million to give the Kashmiri American Council lobbying aid to cover up Pakistani terrorism
    directed against India:

    The Kashmiri American Council was a “scam” that amounted to a “false flag operation that Mr. Fai was operating on behalf of the ISI,” Gordon D. Kromberg, the assistant U.S. attorney who
    prosecuted the case, said in March 2012 at Fai’s sentencing hearing in federal court.
    While posing as a U.S.-based nonprofit funded by American donors sympathetic to the plight of Kashmiris, it was actually bankrolled by the ISI
    in order to deflect public attention “away from the involvement of Pakistan in sponsoring terrorism in Kashmir and elsewhere,” Kromberg said. Fai, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy and tax fraud charges, was then sentenced to two years in federal prison.

    Lobbying records filed with the secretary of the Senate show that Manafort’s lobbying firm, Black, Manafort,
    Stone & Kelly, was paid $700,000 by the Kashmiri American Council between 1990 and 1995. This was among more than $4 million that federal prosecutors alleged came from the ISI; Fai collected the money over 20 years from “straw”
    American donors who were being reimbursed from secret accounts in Pakistan.

    (The funds were in some cases delivered to Fai in brown paper bags stuffed with cash — and then the donors reimbursed with wire transfers from ISI operatives, according to an FBI affidavit.)

    So it really should be no surprise when Manafort’s long time buddy, Roger Stone, engages in what amounts to terrorism to try to strong arm Reince Priebus into ignoring the will of the
    60+% of GOP voters who gag when they hear Donald Trump’s name. Terrorism and
    Manafort have a long and intimate acquaintance.

  • Mikhail Golovnya

    100% Russian Anti-Ukrainian propaganda points heard every day on Russian TV and mindlessly repeated by throngs of drones, paid trolls, and useful idiots in the West all the time.

  • RMThoughts

    And every word of it true.

  • St. Bonaventure

    Desperation much? The Russian Federation is not the Soviet Union, which is the model used by both the DNC and RNC in ‘electing’ nominees. Indeed, it is AIM who is behaving as crazed Bolsheviks in an embarrassing attempt to prevent real change.

  • Jerry

    Who is That?

  • Jerry

    Nobody can work with Obama the Liar, or Hillary. Putin would love to have Hillary as President. Trump is tough I would not discount him. He is better than anyone else running

  • The secret GRU battlegroups are already preparing for the Convention!

    After The Soviets overthrow America and install the dictatorship of the Trumpatariat, we will liquidate all the sniveling traitors….

  • danjuangarza

    Who is that? Manafort? Trump’s hitman. Wheeler? Google him.

  • RMThoughts

    The West tramples its Christian patrimony, fashioning sacraments out of abominations, and demands that all humanity follow suit.

    Whatever its own tragic shortcomings, Russia is increasingly rejecting the latest iterations of “progress” on offer and now prepares its lines of defense for Western Civilization.

    Vladimir Putin is far from a perfect counterrevolutionary, but he leads the last great people to oppose an incipient, inhuman world tyranny called the NWO.

  • RMThoughts

    Now whatever else might by said about Russia or Putin, the charge that they are the other side of the Washington/NATO coin is ridiculous. Limited operations in traditional spheres of influence by Moscow are in no way comparable to Washington’s decades-old policy of marching to every corner of the globe overthrowing governments and invading weaker nations. Attempts at moral equivalency here are really acts of moral cowardice.

    Likewise, those who support Russia in its progressing efforts to free itself from international oligarchic domination desire a multipolar world and see the leadership of Putin as a refreshing challenge to the status quo of Western global hegemony of a NWO. Men and women courageous enough to swim against the current should not to be dismissed as “Kremlin shills” by those who only claim opposition to an imperium that drives to enslave us all.

  • fifty0neGaming

    Yea. Manafort. Man that guy is so incompetent. He led Gerald Ford’s floor team to a WIN at one of the only GOP contested conventions in history and the last one in almost 40 years. He was a political director who helped Ronald Reagan get re-elected in 1984. Calling him incompetent is absolutely ridiculous and a slap in the face to documented history lol. He may be a trickster of sorts, but the business of politics is a dirty business and trying to act like it’s anything else is a lesson in naivety. That’s how you win. Conservatives all over the country cherish Reagan and his persona. Well, the company he kept included one Paul Manafort, and it’s reasonable to say Reagan may not of won his 2nd term without his assistance.

    Would you of asked Reagan to fire Manafort? Was he so “morally despicable” when he was with Reagan? What if he was in Cruz’s camp and was responsible for flipping so many delegates to Cruz? I’m pretty sure I know what the answer is. Manafort is one of the best there is at the arcane arts of a delegate floor fight and a contested convention. I don’t think we’ll get there, but trying to say he “doesn’t know the rules” is hilarious. He’s been responsible for getting some of this country’s greatest patriots elected. Your bias is obvious, and that’s ok. Just don’t get too upset when Trump hits 1237.

  • Great article. Now I totally understand the connection and it makes the entire Trump situation even more troubling. From what I hear, it won’t be long before the truth about the connections between Russia, hackers and this election, Manafort and Trump. Many people are saying that Trump is in this purely for profit.

  • Dr Studebaker

    As long As He and his Team get this Country back on its Wheels I Don’t Care !