Mar 09

The Russian Connection: Pieces Falling In Place

Every day another piece of evidence is revealed that sheds more sunshine on the connection between Russia and the Trump campaign. In an article in Politico it was reported that a close associate of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort was being investigated for ties to Russian intelligence. Konstantin Kilimnik, an operative based in Kiev with suspected ties to Russian intelligence, made two trips to the US during the presidential campaign to consult with Manafort.

Kilimnik, a joint Russian-Ukrainian citizen who trained in the Russian army as a linguist, told operatives in Kiev and Washington that he met with Manafort during an April trip to the United States. And, after a late summer trip to the U.S., Kilimnik suggested that he had played a role in gutting a proposed amendment to the Republican Party platform that would have staked out a more adversarial stance towards Russia, according to a Kiev operative.

The FBI declined to comment on Kilimnik, while the State Department did not respond to a request for comment. It’s unclear whether either agency launched any kind of official inquiry into Kilimnik, nor is it clear whether the interest from the U.S. authorities is ongoing.

The Ukrainian prosecutor general in August did launch a formal investigation into Kilimnik’s suspected ties to Russian intelligence, according to documents obtained by POLITICO. The prosecutor’s office subsequently told POLITICO that it has cleared Kilimnik, though the Ukrainian parliamentarian who requested the investigation questioned its thoroughness and suggested the agency was trying to avoid an investigation that could have had implications in the U.S. presidential race.

MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, once again, follows the trail of the Russian connection to Trump