At the height of Russian tensions, Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort met with Ukrainian business associate and Russian army veteran Konstantin Kilimnik, the Washington Post reports.
Last August, Manafort and Kilimnik met at the Grand Havana Room, a New York City cigar bar, where they “talked about expenses unpaid through [their] purchasers, approximately the total scenario in Ukraine . . . and in regards to the current news,” according to a from Kilimnik to the Washington Post through Manafort’s attorney.
Manafort spokesman Jason Maloni said, “it would be neither sudden nor suspicious that two political experts might chat in regards to the political news of the day, including the DNC hack, which was in the information.”
He added, “We’re confident that critical officers will come to the realization that Paul’s campaign conduct and interplay with Konstantin throughout that point was perfectly permissible and not in furtherance of a few conspiracy.”
The previously unreported dinner was the second of of two meetings. The first meeting took place two weeks before Manafort was hired as Trump’s campaign char, while the second meeting took place two weeks before Manafort resigned amid reports that he had received incorrect payments for his political lobbying work in Ukraine, allegations that he has denied.
The Hill added:
“Kilimnik, who reportedly helped run the Ukraine office for Manafort’s consulting practice for 10 years, is of interest to the Senate Intelligence Committee, a source told the publication. Manafort regularly worked in Ukraine with groups supportive of Russia.
The committee is investigating the Trump campaign’s alleged ties to Russian election interference.”