Mueller zeroed in on a Trump campaign pollster with deep ties to Paul Manafort: report
Special Counsel Robert Mueller has interviewed Tony Fabrizio, a pollster for Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, a revelation that raises the stakes for the recently uncovered allegation the Campaign Chair Paul Manafort lied to investigators about giving poll data to to a foreign national, according to CNN.
Manafort provided the data to Konstantin Kilimnik, who is believed to have ties to Russian intelligence. This fact was revealed this week when Manafort's lawyers filed court documents that were improperly redacted. It is one of the strongest pieces of evidence yet that there was active cooperation between the Trump campaign and the Russian government's efforts to influence the 2016 election.
CNN reporters had first observed Fabrizio at the special counsel's office in Februrary 2018, according to the report. They since confirmed that he was interviewed by Mueller's team. This development seems much more significant now given the apparent significance of Mueller has placed on the transfer of the polling data.
CNN also noted that Rick Gates, who was Manafort's deputy on the campaign and his business associate, began cooperating with the special counsel — eventually testifying against Manafort in court — after Fabrizio testified.
The New York Times reported that Gates also transferred polling data to Kilimnik in the spring of 2016.
Fabrizio had a previous relationship with Manafort prior to his work on Trump's campaign, CNN reported. He reportedly worked for Manafort conducting polls in Ukraine during the country's political campaigns in 2012 and 2013, earning a quarter of a million dollars.