Screencapture / MSNBC paul manafort...
Screencapture / MSNBC

Ten days before Donald Trump accepted the Republican nomination his then-campaign manager was offering to provide briefings on the 2016 race to a Russian billionaire connected with the Kremlin. Washington Post:

Paul Manafort made the offer in an email to an overseas intermediary, asking that a message be sent to Oleg Deripaska, an aluminum magnate with whom Manafort had done business in the past, these people said.

If he needs private briefings we can accommodate,” Manafort wrote in the July 7, 2016, email, portions of which were read to The Washington Post along with other Manafort correspondence from that time.

The emails are among tens of thousands of documents that have been turned over to congressional investigators and special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s team as they probe whether Trump associates coordinated with Russia as part of Moscow’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 U.S. election.

Now this is cute. Manafort used to talk to Derispaska or about Derispaska in code, and they were talking about money owed to Manafort. For what, I wonder?

The notes appear to be written in deliberately vague terms, with Manafort and his employee, Konstantin Kilimnik, never explicitly mentioning Deripaska by name.

Investigators believe that key passages refer to Deripaska. The billionaire is referenced in some places by his initials, “OVD,” and one email invokes an expensive Russian delicacy in what investigators believe is a veiled reference to Manafort’s past work with Deripaska.

In one April exchange days after Trump named Manafort as a campaign strategist, Manafort referred to his positive press and growing reputation and asked, “How do we use to get whole?”

Don’t forget that only last month Manafort was told by Mueller’s team that they believed that they could puruse criminal charges against him and urged him to cooperate in the probe, specifically by providing information about the other members of the campaign, who, as we speak, are scurrying for money to hire lawyers.Finally, just last week Manafort was threatened with indictment. Trump Russia is heating up and fast.

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