Exclusive: Paul Manafort authorised secret media operation that sought to discredit key opponent of then Ukrainian president
Donald Trump's former campaign administrator Paul Manafort authorised a secret media operation on behalf of Ukraine's former chairperson featuring” black ops”, “placed” articles in the Wall Street Journal and US websites and anonymous briefings against Hillary Clinton.
The project was designed to boost the reputation of Ukraine's then leader, Viktor Yanukovych. It was part of a multimillion-dollar lobbying attempt carried out by Manafort on behalf of Yanukovych's embattled government, emails and documents expose.
The strategies included:
* Proposing to rewrite Wikipedia entries to smear a key foe of the then Ukrainian president.
* Setting up a fake thinktank in Vienna to disseminate standpoints supporting Yanukovych.
* A social media blitz” is targeted at targeted audiences in Europe and the US “.
* Briefing journalists from the rightwing website Breitbart to attack Clinton when she was US secretary of state.
Manafort's Ukraine strategy foresaw later attempts by the Kremlin and its troll factory to employ Twitter and Facebook to discredit Clinton and to help Trump win the 2016 US election. The material ensure by the Guardian dates from 2011 to 2013.
Robert Mueller, the special attorney analyse claims of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, has indicted Manafort on multiple counts. Manafort is accused of ” laundering gains “ from his lobbying work in Ukraine, carried out over a period of a decade for Yanukovych and his political party.
Read more: www.theguardian.com