Paul Manafort reportedly offered to brief Russian billionaire on 2016 campaign

Key Points
  • The Washington Post reports that Donald Trump's former campaign chairman offered to brief a Russian billionaire on the 2016 campaign.
  • The billionaire, Oleg Deripaska, has ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin.
  • The offer was made in an email that has been turned over to congressional and special counsel investigators looking into Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 election.
Paul Manafort is in legal jeopardy

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort offered to brief a Russian billionaire with Kremlin ties on the 2016 campaign, people familiar with the discussions told The Washington Post.

Jason Maloni, spokesman for Manafort, confirmed to NBC News that the emails first reported by the Post were authentic and have been turned over to congressional committees. Investigators are examining Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election and any potential ties to the Trump campaign. Manafort was Trump's campaign chief at the time of the emails.

The billionaire, Oleg Deripaska, had done business with Manafort in the past, the Post said, citing sources.

The Post also reported that Manafort had referred to his positive press and growing reputation when asking, "How do we use to get whole?"

Maloni said the interaction was innocuous and that Manafort had been referring to money he believed he was owed by Eastern European clients.

"It is no secret Mr. Manafort was owed money by past clients after his work ended in 2014," Maloni told NBC News. "This exchange is innocuous."

The former Trump campaign chairman has fallen under further scrutiny after it was revealed he attended a meeting with a Russian lawyer at Trump Tower last year. The president's son Donald Trump Jr. and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, were also present.

The younger Trump agreed to the meeting after getting offered dirt on Hillary Clinton as part of "Russia and its government's support" for his father's campaign, according to emails he released.

Read the full report in The Washington Post.

— NBC News contributed reporting.

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