Longtime Trump ally: ‘Heresy’ to accuse Manafort of colluding with Russians


( CNN) A longtime acquaintance of President Donald Trump is representing onetime campaign chairwoman Paul Manafort in the aftermath of a report that his consulting house received at least $1.2 million in payments from a pro-Russian registered political party in Ukraine.

According to the Associated Press, financial records prove the payments, which were listed in a handwritten record, were built in 2007 and 2009 — times before Manafort was part of the Trump campaign. Ukrainian investigates claimed the ledger proved the payments were built secretly. Manafort’s spokesman Jason Maloni, nonetheless, called any allegation of improper secret payments “totally misleading and incorrect.”

Manafort’s lawyers have also been in discussions with the Justice Department for Manafort to register as a foreign agent in a bid to resolve questions about his past work for Ukraine, according to CNN beginnings briefed on the talks.