Paul Manafort, campaign manager to Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump, is surrounded by reporters in Cleveland, Ohio, July 14, 2016.
Photo by Rick Wilking/Reuters

GOP lawmakers seek information on Team Trump’s Russia ties

The Rachel Maddow Show, 8/15/16, 9:11 PM ET

Trump campaign chair's Russia ties raise important new questions

Rachel Maddow relays new reporting from the New York Times about Ukrainian investigations into Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s recent employment with Ukraine’s Russia-backed former president.
The latest revelations surrounding Donald Trump’s presidential campaign team and ties to pro-Putin forces abroad have sparked plenty of interest. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee, yesterday urged the Republican nominee to “immediately disclose any payments by pro-Putin groups to his campaign chairman or other key staff, and assure the American public that these payments have not influenced his campaign proposals or any action he might take in the White House.”
Schiff isn’t the only one looking for answers. CNN’s Jake Tapper asked Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) yesterday about the allegations surrounding Paul Manafort and his financial ties to pro-Russian forces in Ukraine. The Republican congressman responded:
“Yes, look, I think Donald Trump ought to really investigate this and where his chief adviser, what his association with the Russians are. […]
“[W]e do know that there was a push for some reason at the RNC to take offensive weapons out of our platform. That wasn’t anything anybody was talking about it. It just happened. That has been this affection in the campaign for Russia and Vladimir Putin.
“In my thought, I have concerns for the chief adviser of Donald Trump, you know, having done work for a pro-Russian government in Ukraine, and, then, all of a sudden, there is this real affection for Russia in the campaign.”
This morning, Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wis.) also appeared on CNN and said, “I want to know what money [Manafort] got from a pro-Russian organization in the Ukraine.”
It seems unlikely that a Republican-led Congress will pursue these questions with any real enthusiasm so close to the presidential election, but Team Trump already has enough problems on its plate. The last thing the GOP ticket needs is congressional Republicans complaining publicly and asking questions like these.

Donald Trump and Russia

GOP lawmakers seek information on Team Trump's Russia ties