A top official in the Russian government has accused Ukraine of attempting to sabotage Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharov said Ukraine had “planted” stories about Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chairman, in the U.S. media. “Ukraine seriously complicated the work of Trump’s election campaign headquarters by planting information according to which Paul Manafort, Trump’s campaign chairman, allegedly accepted money from Ukrainian oligarchs,” said Zakharova in a briefing in Moscow on Nov. 30. “All of you have heard this remarkable story.”
Manafort resigned his post as chairman of Trump’s campaign in August, after he became embroiled in controversy when a New York Times report found that political leaders in Ukraine earmarked millions in undisclosed cash for him. Manafort said at the time that the findings were “unfounded, silly, and nonsensical.”
“I never understood why I was the target,” Manafort told Politico on Thursday. “I wasn’t the candidate. I was just caught in the crossfire.”
Meanwhile, it’s Russia that has actually been accused of tampering with the U.S. election. Russian hackers are suspected of releasing damaging emails from the Democratic National Committee ahead of the Democratic convention, as well as emails from Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman.
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Write to Tessa Berenson at tessa.Rogers@time.com