KIEV: Ukrainian authorities have released details of payments worth million of dollars that US presidential campaign hopeful Donald Trump’s former campaign chief allegedly received from Kiev’s deposed Russian-backed leaders. The revelations were followed by a top Ukrainian lawmaker’s assertion Friday (Saturday in Manila) that Paul Manafort lobbied in favor of a pro-Kremlin party even after the 2014 pro-EU revolt that pulled Ukraine out of Russia’s orbit. The claims against Manafort have distracted from a White House bid that has seen the Republican Trump trail his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.
Trump said Friday that Manafort had “offered, and I accepted, his resignation from the campaign.” Manafort had previously served as a public relations advisor to Moscow-backed president Viktor Yanukovych—now living in self-imposed exile in Russia—and his Regions Party between 2007 and 2012. US news reports surfaced this week suggesting that Manafort may have received $12.7 million (11.2 million euros) in secret cash payments over that time period. Ukraine’s National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU) late Thursday published 22 entries on payments earmarked for Manafort for work he conducted either on behalf of Yanukovych or his party. But it said in a statement that it could not be certain that Manafort ever actually received the money.