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First Word: Paul Manafort in bed with Russia

     There has been a lot of talk recently on the topic of Paul Manafort, Donald Trump’s campaign chairman, who pleaded guilty to the FBI earlier this week. He and his associate, Rick Gates, were indicted right alongside Manafort. Both of them have charges of multiple federal crimes as well as being charged with conspiring against the U.S(Business Insider). Now, the people who have claimed that Trump’s campaign connections with Russia were fake are now in for a rude awakening.

     Manafort has so many ties to Russian billionaires that it is impossible to say that this investigation is fake. In July he was $17 million in debt to “Pro-Russian interests” once he joined the Trump campaign. A Russian billionaire who worked extremely close with Vladimir Putin, Oleg Deripaska, had also given Manafort $19 million during 2014 for it to be invested into a TV company in the Ukraine,which fell through. Manafort never payed Deripaska back(businessinsider).

     The first real click is back in 2006, where Manafort and Oleg Deripaska both signed a $10 million contract for lobbying in the US that would apparently “greatly benefit the Putin Government”(businessinsider). Paul Manafort has also been tied to trump since the 1980s, when Trump had hired Manafort’s lobbying firm.

     The craziest part? When the New York times reported in August of 2016 that there was $12.7 million in “undisclosed cash payments for Yanukovych’s pro-Russia Party of Regions had been earmarked for Manafort for his work with the party from 2007 to 2012”(businessinsider), Manafort resigned from his campaign work three days later.

     Paul Manafort and Rick Gates were not the only ones that were accused with damaging ties to Russia.

     George Papadopoulus, one of Donald Trump’s campaign advisors, has recently been indicted. President Trump has hissed about it on Twitter, stating, “The Fake News is working overtime. As Paul Manaforts lawyer said, there was ‘no collusion’ and events mentioned took place long before he came to the campaign. Few people knew the young, low level volunteer named George, who has already proven to be a liar. Check the DEMS”(NBC)! Even though Trump remains to be quite the nuisance, his ridiculous twitter statements are still something that can make everyone chuckle.

     The volunteer policy advisor worked for 11 months for Trump’s campaign, with Trump even calling him an “excellent guy”, which was apparently the only time Trump and Papadopoulus actually met (NBC).

    What exactly did Papadopoulus lie about? Well, something pretty significant. Tom Udall, democratic Senator of New Mexico said that he, “pleaded guilty to lying to F.B.I. investigators about his contacts with a Russian individual with ‘substantial connections’ with Russian government officials who discussed possessing ‘dirt’ on then-candidate Hillary Clinton in the form of thousands of emails” (NBC). This is a huge deal, but apparently not to the people at the White house.

     There were two indictments as well as a guilty plea from Papadopoulus, and Trump still continues to resist that this is a relevant story. He does what he has always done, which is point fingers at the Democrats for corruption and continuing a divisive culture that prevents politicians from both sides to be able to work together.

     Right now, Republicans and Democrats keep pointing fingers at each other about “corruption” and “collusion”, when in reality this goes on behind closed doors on both political sides. It just depends on whether they get caught or not.

     It also feels like both the Republicans and the Democrats are being accused of being in bed with the Russians, but only to get at each other’s throats. How does this make any sense? There has been so much that continuously comes out about Russian involvement, but it  never gets us anywhere closer to a final conclusion.

     Although, Paul Manafort seems to have created trouble for himself, which leads to questions about the Trump presidency. My prediction is that the president will definitely be feeling the effects soon, and  so will the Republican party.

Chloe is a senior Anthropology and German major . She is the BU Democrats Communications Coordinator and German Club Secretary. She is the Asst. Op/Ed Editor for The Voice

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