Trump's Russian Connections

How Paul Manafort Wielded Power in Ukraine Before Advising Donald Trump

Yesterday, Trump made comments about the Ukraine that seemed to show his ignorance of how things have gone over there.

He seemed clueless. He didn't seem to realize that Putin had already invaded the Ukraine, and had annexed the Crimea.

That seemed strange, given that his campaign manager, Paul Manafort, has been in the sack with the Russians for years.

On Sunday, Mr. Trump even echoed Mr. Putin’s justification of the annexation of Crimea, saying the majority of people in the region wanted to be part of Russia, remarks that were prominently featured on state news channels in Moscow.

There he is ... backing Putin's invasion and annexation.

It is far from certain that Mr. Manafort’s views have directly shaped Mr. Trump’s, since Mr. Trump spoke favorably of Mr. Putin’s leadership before Mr. Manafort joined the campaign. But it is clear that the two have a shared view of Russia and neighbors like Ukraine — an affection, even — that, in Mr. Manafort’s case, has been shaped by years of business dealings as much as by any policy or ideology.

No wonder Trump wants the focus on Hillary's emails. It keeps the focus away from his and Manafort's business dealings with the Russians and the Ukrainians.