Paul Manafort had an interesting profile to bring to the Trump campaign. From 2014 up until Manafort took over as Donald Trump’s campaign manager in early 2016 he was flying to Russia about once a month. McClatchy via RawStory:
Manafort’s flight records in and out of Ukraine, which McClatchy obtained from a government source in Kiev, and interviews with more than a dozen people familiar with his activities, including current and former government officials, suggest the links between Trump’s former campaign manager and Russia sympathizers run deeper than previously thought.
What’s now known leads some Russia experts to suspect that the Kremlin’s emissaries at times turned Manafort into an asset acting on Russia’s behalf. “You can make a case that all along he … was either working principally for Moscow, or he was trying to play both sides against each other just to maximize his profits,” said Daniel Fried, a former assistant secretary of state who communicated with Manafort during Yanukovych’s reign in President George W. Bush’s second term.
“He’s at best got a conflict of interest and at worst is really doing Putin’s bidding,” said Fried, now a fellow with the Atlantic Council.
He was doing quite a good job of maximizing profits. According to prosecutors’ charges, as much as $75Million in “consulting fees” have been shown to have been funneled through various foreign accounts by Manafort and Gates. And don’t forget Donald Jr.’s now famous statement, “We have plenty of money pouring in from Russia.”