Report: Ledger reveals Trump's campaign chief was earmarked $12.7M from pro-Russian interests in Ukraine

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A pro-Russian political party in Ukraine advised by Donald Trump's campaign manager, Paul Manafort, designated $12.7 million in undisclosed cash payments for Manafort between 2007-2012, according to a bombshell report from the New York Times.

While there is no evidence that Manafort has actually received the earmarked payments, he is "among those names on the list of so-called 'black accounts of the Party of Regions,' which the detectives of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine are investigating," according to a statement from the bureau provided to the Times.

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Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump gives a thumbs up as his campaign manager Paul Manafort (C) and daughter Ivanka (R) look on during Trump's walk through at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, U.S., July 21, 2016. REUTERS/Rick Wilking
U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's campaign chair and convention manager Paul Manafort speaks at a press conference at the Republican Convention in Cleveland, U.S., July 19, 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's campaign chair and convention manager Paul Manafort appears at a press conference at the Republican Convention in Cleveland, U.S., July 19, 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump's campaign manager Paul Manafort talks to the media from the Trump family box on the floor of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. July 18, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Paul Manafort, senior advisor to Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump, smiles as he talks with other Trump campaign staff after Trump spoke to supporters following the results of the Indiana state primary, at Trump Tower in Manhattan, New York, U.S., May 3, 2016. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump's senior campaign adviser Paul Manafort (L) walks into a reception with former Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson, at the Republican National Committee Spring Meeting at the Diplomat Resort in Hollywood, Florida, April 21, 2016. REUTERS/Joe Skipper
CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 21: Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort listens to Ivanka Trump speak at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland on July 21, 2016. (Photo by Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JULY 20: A man with a security credential takes a selfie at the podium as Donald Trump, flanked by campaign manager Paul Manafort and daughter Ivanka, checks the podium early Thursday afternoon in preparation for accepting the GOP nomination to be President at the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio on Wednesday July 20, 2016. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
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MEET THE PRESS -- Pictured: (l-r) Paul Manafort., Convention Manager, Trump Campaign, appears on 'Meet the Press' in Washington, D.C., Sunday April 10, 2016. (Photo by: William B. Plowman/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
NA.R.DoleMicCk1.081596.RG.Republican presidential candidate Bob Dole looks up from podium at balloons and television cameras as convention center manager Paul Manafort, at right, points out preparations for tonight's acceptance speech in San Diego, 08/15/96. (Photo by Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
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It is unclear what exactly the series of 22 payments designated for Manafort — who advised the Russian-backed Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych for nearly a decade before he was driven out of power in 2014 — were for.

But the funds shed light on the "very dirty cash economy in Ukraine" that rewards party loyalists with off-the-books gifts and favors, Daria N. Kaleniuk, the executive director of the Anti-Corruption Action Center in Kiev, told the Times.

Company records, moreover, "give no indication that Manafort has formally dissolved the local branch of his company, Davis Manafort International," the Times notes.

Manafort released a statement early Monday morning denying the Times' findings and reiterating that he had not received any cash payments from elements within the Russian or Ukrainian governments.

The report comes amid increased scrutiny of the Trump campaign's ties to Russia, which exploded late last month after a hack on Democratic National Committee email accounts was tied back to Russian military intelligence. Trump denied any involvement in the hack, but called on Russian hackers to "find Hillary Clinton's 30,000 deleted emails" in a now-infamous press conference.

Revelations about the origins of the DNC hack and Manafort's cash ties to pro-Russian interests in Ukraine also follow the Trump campaign's decision to alter the GOP's policy on Ukraine, which has long called for arming Ukrainian soldiers against pro-Russia rebels.

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Wayne Newton

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Rosanne Barr

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Willie Robertson (of "Duck Dynasty")

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Gary Busey

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Mike Tyson

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Teresa Giudice (of "Real Housewives of New Jersey")

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Jon Voight

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Stephen Baldwin

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Dennis Rodman

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Kid Rock

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Tila Tequila

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Stacey Dash

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Kendra Wilkinson

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Azealia Banks

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Sarah Palin

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The report, moreover, emerges in light of Trump's own perceived friendliness toward Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin. Trump has threatened more than once to pull out of NATO — an organization Russia views as a threat — and has spoken highly of Putin more than once.

"He's running his country and at least he's a leader, unlike what we have in this country," Trump told MSNBC in December.

On Thursday, Trump told CNBC that during his administration, he "will be friendly with Putin."

Some have accused the real estate mogul of not releasing his tax returns because they may show that "he is deeply involved in dealing with Russian oligarchs," Conservative columnist George Will told Fox News late last month.

As journalist Julia Ioffe noted in a piece for Foreign Policy, however, Trump's own influence among high-level Russian figures may be overstated given the difficulty that he has had throughout his career in securing lucrative real-estate projects there.

In any case, along with Manafort's ties to pro-Russian actors in Ukraine, Trump's seeminglyshady financial overtures to Russian oligarchs have resurfaced this year, perhaps as evidence that the real-estate mogul or his top advisers may be tangentially linked to Russian attempts to undermine the Clinton campaign.

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