Ex-Trump campaign boss slams report on Ukraine ties

It's not clear if Trump knew about Manafort's foreign ties when he hired him to run his presidential campaign, but this makes two prominent former Trump officials who are now officially foreign agents.

Manafort, a longtime Republican political operative, led the presidential campaign from March until August a year ago when Trump asked him to resign.

Paul Manafort, the former campaign chair for Donald Trump, has signaled that he plans to register as a foreign agent for his past work on behalf of political figures in Ukraine.

"Manafort has always denied that he ever received any cash payments for his work and has consistently maintained that he received all of his payments, for services rendered, through wire transfers conducted through the worldwide banking system", read the statement.

On Wednesday, the Podesta Group filed as a foreign agent for lobbying between 2012 and 2014 on behalf of the Centre, a development first reported by Politico.

On the very same day that Paul Manafort left Trump's presidential campaign he formed a shell corporation that borrowed $13 million from Trump-connected businesses, according to reports Wednesday.

"But information brought to light in recent months prompted us to review our original registration determination", Fritts said in the statement. They also put the ledger in a new light, as federal prosecutors in the USA have been looking into Manaforts work for years as part of an effort to recover Ukrainian assets stolen after the 2014 ouster of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, who fled to Russian Federation.

Manafort worked as a consultant for a group tied to the party of former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych, who was ousted over accusations of corruption.

Manafort and his lobbying firm have been under Federal Bureau of Investigation and Justice Department scrutiny as part of a broader anti-corruption probe of Yanukovych.

The Associated Press last fall reported that Manafort's firm - DMP International, which was advising to Yanukovych at the time - introduced Mercury and Podesta Group to the Centre and helped direct some of the lobbying strategy. It's a headline-grabbing development to be sure, especially amid multiple investigations (by the House, the Senate, and the FBI) into allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation, which Trump and his advisers have denied. Anyone engaging in political activity on behalf of a foreign person, party or organization is required to do that. Willfully failing to register is a felony, though the department rarely files criminal charges in such cases. But a person under that kind of scrutiny needs to make sure he's not also somehow violating of the letter of the Foreign Agents Registration Act or otherwise skirting the law.

Now, reports say Manafort is retroactively registering as a foreign agent.

"We have, and will continue to have, no hesitation doing so to underscore our commitment to transparency", Fritts said.

According to WTOP radio, Manafort and his deputy Rick Gates oversaw the lobbying effort, which sought to promote a Ukrainian political party's interests in Washington.

Manafort's relationship to Yanukovych is controversial because the former Ukrainian president's close relationship to Moscow was the reason for his own downfall.

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