November 1, 2017
By Joe Kloc
Paul Manafort, the former chairman of US president Donald Trump’s election campaign, turned himself over to authorities at the Washington, D.C., field office of the FBI, where Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating potential collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government, indicted him and his associate Richard Gates on charges of fraud, money laundering, and conspiracy against the United States, alleging that between 2006 and 2017 Manafort lobbied the US government on behalf of a pro-Russia political party in Ukraine without registering as a foreign agent; that he hid $75 million in offshore bank accounts in Cyprus, the Grenadines, and the United Kingdom; and that he laundered at least $18 million of that money through the purchase of Range Rovers, landscaping and housekeeping services, antique rugs, men’s clothing, and several homes, including a condo in Manhattan, which he rented on Airbnb, and a brownstone in Brooklyn, which he purchased for $3 million and then took out a $5 million loan against, telling the bank he would use $1.4 million for home repairs but instead using the money to make a down payment on a home in California. Addressing the indictments at a media briefing, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders related an “anecdote” that had been “floating around the Internet” about reporters splitting a bar tab, which she said explained why companies keep their money overseas, then noted that Trump had responded to the indictments “without a lot of reaction.” It was reported that Trump had not shown up in the Oval Office in the morning, and had instead watched cable news on the televisions in his private residence, where he was “seething,” talking to his lawyers, and tweeting. “NO COLLUSION,” tweeted Trump, who has been named in at least 169 federal lawsuits during his career as a real-estate developer, casino owner, horse racer, multivitamin salesman, teenage-beauty-pageant operator, and WWE Hall of Fame wrestler. George Papadopoulos, a former foreign-policy adviser to the Trump campaign who listed participating in the Model UN on his LinkedIn profile and whom Trump has referred to as “excellent,” pleaded guilty to having made false statements to Mueller’s investigators about meeting during the campaign with an “overseas professor” who had “substantial connections” to “Russian government officials,” and who claimed that Russia had “dirt” in the form of “thousands of emails” on Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. Papadopoulos said that the professor had introduced him to a Russian woman with “connections” to Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs who wanted to arrange a meeting between the Trump campaign and Russian officials, and admitted to attempting to set up that meeting with a “Campaign Supervisor,” later reported to be Manafort, who had replied that the campaign should send someone “low level in the campaign so as not to send any signal,” and who reportedly used “bond007” as one of his online passwords. The lawyer for Samuel Clovis, a birther and former Trump campaign adviser with no scientific experience who has said that UFOs fly at 5,000 miles per hour and whom Trump has nominated as his chief scientist, said his client was an “Iowa gentleman” who was “just being polite” when he told Papadopoulos to “make the trip” to Russia himself; Trump tweeted that “few people knew” Papadopoulos; Carter Page, another former foreign-policy adviser to Trump’s campaign, whom Russian operatives once referred to as an “idiot” while attempting to recruit him as a spy, gave a television interview in which he told a reporter that during the campaign he may have emailed with Papadopoulos, that Russia “may have come up from time to time,” and that after returning from a trip to Russia he may have mentioned “a few things he heard” to the campaign; and a Republican senator ran into several American flags while attempting to avoid questions from reporters. The Speaker of the House said he didn’t read Manafort’s indictment, Sanders said she was not aware of Trump being mad at his adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who had failed on at least three occasions to disclose hundreds of foreign contacts on his White House security-clearance form, and the GOP wished Ivanka Trump, who along with Kushner had urged her father to hire Manafort, a happy birthday.