News & Politics

Paul Manafort Privately Coordinated with Unnamed Israeli Official to Discredit a Ukrainian Politician

The president's ex-campaign manager pleaded guilty Friday.

Photo Credit: ABC News

NBC News is reporting that former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort has agreed to plead guilty to federal conspiracy and obstruction of justice charges. As part of the plea deal, Manafort will forfeit properties in and around New York City as well as in Alexandria, Virginia. It remains unclear, as of 11:30 a.m. EST, whether or not Manafort will be flipping on President Donald Trump and cooperating in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia-related investigation. But NBC News is reporting on the details of the charging document against Manafort, including his work for Ukrainian politician Viktor Yanukovych—and according to NBC News, Manafort “privately coordinated with an unnamed senior Israeli official” in order to discredit, in 2010, Yanukovych’s political opponent, Yulia Tymoshenko (who served as Ukraine’s prime minister from 2007-2010).

In 2010, the year Yanukovych was elected president of Ukraine, he ran against Tymoshenko—and part of Manafort’s anti-Tymoshenko work, according to the charging document, included undermining Tymoshenko in the U.S. by painting her as anti-Semitic and having a neo-Nazi connection. The unnamed Israeli official, NBC News is reporting, joined forces with Manafort to have “Obama Jews” pressure the Obama Administration into disavowing Tymoshenko. And according to the charging document, Manafort said of the anti-Tymoshenko allegations, “I have someone pushing it on the NY Post. Bada bing bada boom.”

Breitbart News jumped on the anti-Tymoshenko story, publishing the headline “Jewish Leaders Blame Hillary Clinton for ‘Legitimizing’ Ukraine’s Neo-Nazi Party.”

According to the charging document, “Manafort sought to have the (Barack Obama) Administration understand that ‘the Jewish community will take this out on Obama on Election Day if he does nothing.’”

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Alex Henderson is a news writer at AlterNet and veteran political journalist. His work has also appeared in Salon, Raw Story, Truthdig, National Memo, Philadelphia Weekly, Democratic Underground, L.A. Weekly, MintPress News and many other publications. Follow him on Twitter @alexvhenderson.