FILE PHOTO: Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump gives a thumbs up as his campaign manager Paul Manafort looks on during Trump's walk through at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, U.S., July 21, 2016. REUTERS/Rick Wilking/File Photo
Donald Trump gives a thumbs up as his campaign manager Paul Manafort looks on during Trump's walk through at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, U.S. in  2016. Reuters 

Paul Manafort was pressured by Russian spy over debts while Trump campaign chief



Paul Manafort was pressured by a former Russian spy to pay back millions of dollars he owed while he was chairing Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, according to an investigation by Time Magazine.

Victor Boyarkin said he contacted Mr Manafort on behalf of Oleg Deripaska, a Russian oligarch with close ties to the Kremlin and the subject of US sanctions since earlier this year, to collect the debt.

"He owed us a lot of money," Mr Boyarkin, a former arms dealer, told Time. "And he was offering ways to pay it back."

The allegations will add to concerns that Kremlin-linked figures had leverage over Mr Manafort during a critical part of the campaign.

Mr Trump’s supporters insist there is no evidence of collusion between his aides and Russia. The president himself repeated his familiar denial on Twitter after the latest allegations were published.

“The Russian Collusion fabrication is the greatest Hoax in the history of American politics,” he wrote. “The only Russian Collusion was with Hillary and the Democrats!”

However, critics point out that connections have surfaced repeatedly as Robert Mueller continues his federal investigation into allegations Moscow attempted to influence the election outcome, and that Russia may have been seeking to capitalise on a mix of oddballs and outsiders attracted to the unorthodox Republican candidate.

Joyce Vance, a former federal prosecutor and lecturer at the University of Alabama School of Law, wrote on Twitter: “The best case for Trump is that he didn’t know Manafort was deeply in debt to and compromised by the Russians when he hired him as campaign manager. If his vetting was that deficient, it’s not in the realm of possibility for him to run the country.”

Mr Manafort is currently in jail awaiting sentencing. He pleaded guilty earlier this year to two charges of conspiracy and witness tampering. He has also admitted other financial and lobbying crimes and could yet face more charges. He declined to comment on the Time article.

Although his crimes are not related to his campaign work, Trump critics suggest that Russian operatives were able to identify and manipulate flaws.

Mr Boyarkin said it was up to him to collect the debt from Mr Manafort. “I came down on him hard,” he claimed.

He also told Time he had been approached by Mr Mueller's investigators but declined to cooperate.

“I told them to go dig a ditch,” he said.

His alleged role in trying to push Russian influence around the world was laid bare in a new list of sanctions imposed by the US Treasury Department this month.

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Read more:

Flynn's deep co-operation with prosecutors may spare him jail time

Donald Trump calls for his ex-lawyer Michael Cohen to be jailed

How Donald Trump became 'Individual 1' in Robert Mueller's Russia investigation

Trump’s ex-lawyer pleads guilty to lying over Russia probe to protect president

Paul Manafort lied to FBI and special counsel after striking plea deal

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He was described as a “former GRU [military intelligence] officer who reports directly to Deripaska and has led business negotiations on Deripaska’s behalf”. He was sanctioned for his alleged role in trying to interfere in Montenegro’s parliamentary election in 2016.

That country’s pro-Russia opposition has been accused of trying to assassinate the prime minister as part of an effort to prevent it joining Nato. Russia has denied any involvement and there is no evidence to suggest Mr Boyarkin or Mr Deripaska were involved.

However, that plot has crystallised Western fears about how Moscow is trying to manipulate foreign democracies.

Mr Manafort’s previous work for Mr Deripaska, once Russia’s richest man, is well known. The Associated Press reported last year that from 2006 the American lobbyist had a $10m contract with him to help win positive coverage for Vladimir Putin’s government around the world, although both men said it was purely for business and consulting services.

It later emerged that lawyers for the oligarch had filed a suit against Mr Manafort in the Cayman Islands alleging that he had “simply disappeared” with $19m. A second suit was filed in New York this year accusing Mr Manafort and others of taking $26m.

Mr Manafort resurfaced in April of 2016 when he joined the Trump campaign initially as an unpaid adviser before becoming chairman in June. He joined the campaign almost broke and deeply in debt to Mr Deripaska, according to Time.

At one of the crucial moments, just before Mr Trump accepted the party nomination at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Mr Manafort offered to brief Mr Deripaska on the 2016 race.

“If he needs private briefings we can accommodate,” he wrote in an email sent via an intermediary, his former business associate Konstantin Kilimnik, according to The Washington Post.

Mr Kilimnik referred to an associate with ties to Mr Deripaska as "our friend V", who Time says is Mr Boyarkin.

A spokesman for the Mueller investigation also declined to comment on the reports.

It leaves the Russia investigation still without a smoking gun when it comes to allegations that the Trump campaign coordinated with Moscow. However, it reinforces findings that a slew of Mr Trump’s associated were in touch with Kremlin-connected figures during 2016.

SOUTH KOREA SQUAD

Goalkeepers: Kim Seung-gyu, Jo Hyeon-woo, Song Bum-keun
Defenders: Kim Young-gwon, Kim Min-jae, Jung Seung-hyun, Kim Ju-sung, Kim Ji-soo, Seol Young-woo, Kim Tae-hwan, Lee Ki-je, Kim Jin-su
Midfielders: Park Yong-woo, Hwang In-beom, Hong Hyun-seok, Lee Soon-min, Lee Jae-sung, Lee Kang-in, Son Heung-min (captain), Jeong Woo-yeong, Moon Seon-min, Park Jin-seob, Yang Hyun-jun
Strikers: Hwang Hee-chan, Cho Gue-sung, Oh Hyeon-gyu

The specs

Engine: 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo hybrid
Power: 680hp
Torque: 1,020Nm
Transmission: 9-speed auto
Fuel consumption: 7.5L/100km
On sale: Early 2024
Price: From Dh530,000 (estimate)

Company Profile

Company name: Cargoz
Date started: January 2022
Founders: Premlal Pullisserry and Lijo Antony
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 30
Investment stage: Seed

Specs: 2024 McLaren Artura Spider

Engine: 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 and electric motor
Max power: 700hp at 7,500rpm
Max torque: 720Nm at 2,250rpm
Transmission: Eight-speed dual-clutch auto
0-100km/h: 3.0sec
Top speed: 330kph
Price: From Dh1.14 million ($311,000)
On sale: Now

Indoor cricket in a nutshell

Indoor Cricket World Cup - Sep 16-20, Insportz, Dubai

16 Indoor cricket matches are 16 overs per side

8 There are eight players per team

9 There have been nine Indoor Cricket World Cups for men. Australia have won every one.

5 Five runs are deducted from the score when a wickets falls

4 Batsmen bat in pairs, facing four overs per partnership

Scoring In indoor cricket, runs are scored by way of both physical and bonus runs. Physical runs are scored by both batsmen completing a run from one crease to the other. Bonus runs are scored when the ball hits a net in different zones, but only when at least one physical run is score.

Zones

A Front net, behind the striker and wicketkeeper: 0 runs

B Side nets, between the striker and halfway down the pitch: 1 run

C Side nets between halfway and the bowlers end: 2 runs

D Back net: 4 runs on the bounce, 6 runs on the full

KEY DATES IN AMAZON'S HISTORY

July 5, 1994: Jeff Bezos founds Cadabra Inc, which would later be renamed to Amazon.com, because his lawyer misheard the name as 'cadaver'. In its earliest days, the bookstore operated out of a rented garage in Bellevue, Washington

July 16, 1995: Amazon formally opens as an online bookseller. Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought becomes the first item sold on Amazon

1997: Amazon goes public at $18 a share, which has grown about 1,000 per cent at present. Its highest closing price was $197.85 on June 27, 2024

1998: Amazon acquires IMDb, its first major acquisition. It also starts selling CDs and DVDs

2000: Amazon Marketplace opens, allowing people to sell items on the website

2002: Amazon forms what would become Amazon Web Services, opening the Amazon.com platform to all developers. The cloud unit would follow in 2006

2003: Amazon turns in an annual profit of $75 million, the first time it ended a year in the black

2005: Amazon Prime is introduced, its first-ever subscription service that offered US customers free two-day shipping for $79 a year

2006: Amazon Unbox is unveiled, the company's video service that would later morph into Amazon Instant Video and, ultimately, Amazon Video

2007: Amazon's first hardware product, the Kindle e-reader, is introduced; the Fire TV and Fire Phone would come in 2014. Grocery service Amazon Fresh is also started

2009: Amazon introduces Amazon Basics, its in-house label for a variety of products

2010: The foundations for Amazon Studios were laid. Its first original streaming content debuted in 2013

2011: The Amazon Appstore for Google's Android is launched. It is still unavailable on Apple's iOS

2014: The Amazon Echo is launched, a speaker that acts as a personal digital assistant powered by Alexa

2017: Amazon acquires Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, its biggest acquisition

2018: Amazon's market cap briefly crosses the $1 trillion mark, making it, at the time, only the third company to achieve that milestone

COMPANY PROFILE

Company: Eco Way
Started: December 2023
Founder: Ivan Kroshnyi
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: Electric vehicles
Investors: Bootstrapped with undisclosed funding. Looking to raise funds from outside

FA Cup semi-final draw

Coventry City v Manchester United 

Manchester City v Chelsea

- Games to be played at Wembley Stadium on weekend of April 20/21. 

UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom

Director: James Wan

Starring: Jason Mamoa, Patrick Wilson, Amber Heard, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II 

Rating: 2/5

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Xpanceo

Started: 2018

Founders: Roman Axelrod, Valentyn Volkov

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Smart contact lenses, augmented/virtual reality

Funding: $40 million

Investor: Opportunity Venture (Asia)

The biog

Title: General Practitioner with a speciality in cardiology

Previous jobs: Worked in well-known hospitals Jaslok and Breach Candy in Mumbai, India

Education: Medical degree from the Government Medical College in Nagpur

How it all began: opened his first clinic in Ajman in 1993

Family: a 90-year-old mother, wife and two daughters

Remembers a time when medicines from India were purchased per kilo

AT A GLANCE

Windfall
An “energy profits levy” to raise about £5 billion in a year. The temporary one-off tax will hit oil and gas firms by 25 per cent on extraordinary profits. An 80 per cent investment allowance should calm Conservative nerves that the move will dent North Sea firms’ investment to save them 91p for every £1 they spend.
A universal grant
Energy bills discount, which was effectively a £200 loan, has doubled to a £400 discount on bills for all households from October that will not need to be paid back.
Targeted measures
More than eight million of the lowest income households will receive a £650 one-off payment. It will apply to households on Universal Credit, Tax Credits, Pension Credit and legacy benefits.
Separate one-off payments of £300 will go to pensioners and £150 for those receiving disability benefits.

Quick facts on cancer
  • Cancer is the second-leading cause of death worldwide, after cardiovascular diseases 
  • About one in five men and one in six women will develop cancer in their lifetime 
  • By 2040, global cancer cases are on track to reach 30 million 
  • 70 per cent of cancer deaths occur in low and middle-income countries 
  • This rate is expected to increase to 75 per cent by 2030 
  • At least one third of common cancers are preventable 
  • Genetic mutations play a role in 5 per cent to 10 per cent of cancers 
  • Up to 3.7 million lives could be saved annually by implementing the right health
    strategies 
  • The total annual economic cost of cancer is $1.16 trillion

 


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