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Juliette Kayyem on BPR, 1/9/2019

Court Filing Says Manafort Shared Internal Campaign Polling Data With Russians

Alex Ovechkin, Paul Manafort
Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, leaves the federal courthouse in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018, in Washington.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP
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Juliette Kayyem on BPR, 1/9/2019

According to a court filing Tuesday, former Donald Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort shared polling information during the election with a man believed to be tied to Russian intelligence.

Homeland security expert Juliette Kayyem believes that the filing connects some dots between Russian intent to disrupt the election and the Trump campaign.

"Polling and data are obviously the heartbeat of information, in terms of where the Russians at this stage are doing their online campaign against Hillary Clinton," Kayyem told Boston Public Radio Wednesday.

"I think it's a big deal because it shows direct sharing of internal Trump campaign information, while he's campaign chairman, with someone who has access to whatever Russia is doing to disrupt the 2016 election," she continued.

Manafort also allegedly discussed a potential peace plan in Ukraine with his contact, Konstantin Kilimnik.

At this point it is unclear whether Manafort was acting on his own or at the direction of the president. But Kayyem believes the Manafort filing paints an unflattering portrait of the Trump campaign and how it operated.

"What all these things show ... is the Trump campaign was open for business and the Russians knew it," she said. "I don't think that's speculation. I don't think it's conjecture at this stage. "

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