Paul Manafort of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's staff listens during a round table discussion on security at Trump Tower in the Manhattan borough of New York, Aug. 17, 2016. 
Photo by Carlo Allegri/Reuters

Trump’s former campaign manager to register as a foreign agent

Donald Trump’s former campaign adviser on foreign policy has been investigated as a possible Russian agent. Trump’s former National Security Advisor recently registered as a foreign agent.

The Rachel Maddow Show, 4/12/17, 11:06 PM ET

Fmr Trump campaign manager Manafort registers as foreign agent

Rachel Maddow reports that former Donald Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort has registered as a foreign agent, the second high-ranking former Trump official to do so after-the-fact.
And Trump’s former campaign chairman is also registering as a foreign agent. The Washington Post reported:
Paul Manafort, the former campaign chair for Donald Trump, has signaled that he plans to register as a foreign agent for his past work on behalf of political figures in Ukraine. […]

A spokesman for Manafort said Wednesday that the longtime political consultant considered a new filing under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) after receiving “formal guidance recently from the authorities” regarding work he and a colleague had performed on behalf of Ukrainian political interests.
The significance of those “Ukrainian political interests,” of course, is that they’re closely aligned with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

As Rachel noted on last night’s show, these developments coincide with the fact that Manafort received secret money from Putin’s allies in Ukraine – payments he used to deny the existence of – which were reportedly routed through shell companies. There’s certainly nothing suspicious about that at all.

Did I mention that we’re talking about the former campaign chairman to the sitting president of the United States? Because this sure is weird.

So, for those keeping score, Trump’s former campaign chairman received secret money from pro-Putin officials. Trump’s former campaign adviser has been investigated as an agent of Putin’s government. Trump’s former National Security Advisor was forced to resign after lying about his communications with Putin’s government.

And for good measure, let’s note that Trump’s Attorney General has come under fire for saying under oath that he didn’t speak to Russian officials during the campaign – claims that turned out to be untrue, and Trump’s polymathic son-in-law had previously undisclosed communications with Russian officials, too.

Rachel added last night, “Everything we are learning pretty much every day now about the Trump campaign – about people like Paul Manafort and Carter Page – the question still remains unanswered: of all the people in the world Donald Trump could have hired for his campaign, why did he end up with all these guys, with all these creepy previously undisclosed now emerging ties to Russia?”

Donald Trump, Russia and Scandals

Trump's former campaign manager to register as a foreign agent