Saturday, August 13, 2022

Paul Manafort says Michael Cohen was spying on Trump campaign

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The Trump campaign was actually spied on in 2016, claims former Trump campaign chairman and convicted felon Paul Manafort in his forthcoming book. It just wasn’t by anyone who accused Trump of doing this on Twitter.

Instead, Manafort writes, was former Trump attorney Michael Cohen, who made himself administrator of the campaign server in an effort to make himself relevant to the campaign. The result gave him full access to every email sent by campaign staff. As Manafort wrote, “he had access to everyone’s communications. He had knowledge and he would sit in his office to gain knowledge by spying on the campaign.”

This revelation came in Manafort’s upcoming book Political Prisoner: Persecuted, Persecuted But Not Silenced of which cafemadrid received a copy.

In the book, Manafort claims that Cohen took an unsolicited approach to him in the spring of 2016 with this astonishing claim to inform the press about the activities of then-Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski beating up Manafort. The two men were in a extensive and amply recorded power struggle control of the campaign, which eventually culminated in the resignation of Lewandowski and Escorted from Trump Tower by security.

In a statement to cafemadrid, Cohen denied the allegations. “It is not surprising that Manafort is twisting the truth. I requested admin access to only Corey Lewandowski’s campaign email address after he was fired. The goal was to prove to Trump that it was Corey who leaked negative information about Jared and Ivanka to the press. The information has been found and handed over to Donald.”

Cohen, who spent more than a decade as Trump’s attorney, has since renounced the former president and has become an outspoken critic. The longtime Trump fixer, who notoriously paid porn star Stormy Daniels to cover up her sexual relationship with Trump, was entangled in the Mueller investigation and pleaded guilty to eight counts of fraud and campaign finance violations in 2018.

The accusation is the rare bit of interesting information in what is usually a self-aggrandizing diatribe that is often repetitive and occasionally prone to fundamental factual errors — when discussing the Access Hollywood scandal, there are references to both “Billie Bush” as “Billy Bush” on the same page. Rather than a memoir, it seems designed to: make Manafort a martyr in the eyes of Fox News viewers – a Nathan Hale in Brioni suits who only regretted having one life to give on behalf of Donald Trump.

Manafort describes how he spent his days in prison consuming MAGA media outlets. In a prison where Manafort had access to a television, he describes how he started his days with Fox and Friends and ended with the entire prime-time lineup of Fox News. In another, dependent only on a radio, he describes developing “a real fondness for Dan Bongino” and his disappointment that he “couldn’t find a station carrying my friends Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham.” His zeal isn’t just limited to Fox News personalities. In fact, he relies on his frequent commercials on conservative media outlets that “Mike Lindell became my surrogate family” and that every night he dreamed of creating his own My Pillows in jail.

A longtime Washington power lobbyist who spent ten years in Ukraine on behalf of deposed President Viktor Yanukovych and previously represented a host of other unsavory foreign leaders ranging from the Philippine Ferdinand Marcos until Zaire’s Mobutu Sese SekoManafort joined the Trump campaign in March 2016 and took full control after Lewandowski’s impeachment. He only lasted three months before stepping down in August, with much scrutiny over his ties to Russia through his work in Ukraine.

Ultimately, through the Mueller probe (one that Manafort claims was actually led by Robert Mueller’s top deputy Andrew Weissman because, he believes without evidence, Mueller “suffered from a progressive stage of dementia”), Trump’s former top aide was sentenced to prison. a total of 73 months in prison. He was first found guilty of eight counts of fraud and filing false tax returns in Virginia. He avoided a second trial in Washington DC by signing a plea deal with prosecutors and admit his guilt completely for all offenses charged by prosecutors in both jurisdictions. Manafort was finally pardoned by Trump on December 23, 2020, more than seven months after he was released from prison and placed under house arrest due to the COVID pandemic.

Several revelations in the book are previously reported by other outlets including Manafort informally advising the Trump campaign through backup channels in 2020 while he was under house arrest and anxiously awaiting a possible pardon.

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