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Now my interest was piqued. There were whispers all over Washington that, despite Hicks’s denial, Page was not only still part of the Trump campaign, but its conduit for Russian influence. Was he? One way to answer the question was to figure out how he even got on that list to begin with. One source suggested to me that Richard Burt, former U.S. ambassador to Germany, START treaty negotiator, and longtime lobbyist for Alfa Bank, was the nexus. It was Burt who helped draft Trump’s foreign policy speech in April, and had been advising the Trump campaign, via Senator Jeff Sessions, on foreign policy.
ArcelorMittal bought the Kryviy Rih steel mill for about $4.8 billion at an open tender in 2005 after a newly-elected government cancelled its sale to Ukrainian steel moguls Rinat Akhmetov and Viktor Pinchuk for $800 million a year earlier.
The re-sale was one of the first major moves by the government of Yulia Tymoshenko who became prime minister after leading the 2004 Orange Revolution protests against then-president Leonid Kuchma and his would-be successor Viktor Yanukovich.
Akhmetov, Ukraine's wealthiest man and Tymoshenko is now serving a seven-year jail sentence for abuse of office over her role in a gas deal with Russia while she was prime minister. The European Union has said her sentence smacks of political revenge by President Yanukovich.'s key backer, and Pinchuk, also a billionaire and Kuchma's son-in-law, sued the government then but their lawsuit was shelved in 2005. Tymoshenko quickly fell out with her Orange ally Viktor Yushchenko who became president in 2005. In the next election in 2010, she ran for the presidency herself but lost narrowly to Yanukovich.
Yanukovich's backers such as Akhmetov and Dmytro Firtash, another billionaire industrialist, have since successfully challenged government decisions made under Tymoshenko, winning compensation or having their revoked licences renewed.
Tymoshenko is now serving a seven-year jail sentence for abuse of office over her role in a gas deal with Russia while she was prime minister. The European Union has said her sentence smacks of political revenge by President Yanukovich.
PAGE: I agree. And in terms of other potential initiatives, I think one point which could be perhaps looked at in a bit more detail is the possibility of pursuing additional projects with Russia. I think, obviously, there are certain considerations which need to be brought into play in terms of, you know, are they a competitor? Are they a potential partner? I think to the extent we structure the relationship in much more of a partnership type of an arrangement, I think potentially that could make a very positive effect over time. Not an easy goal, but it's definitely worth keeping that on the agenda.
A former senior official in the Reagan administration and prominent Republican foreign policy insider told Reuters he provided input for the late-April foreign policy speech by Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.
"I was asked to contribute material" for Trump's April 27 speech at the Center for the National Interest, a Washington, D.C., think tank, said Richard Burt.
Burt said he is not part of Trump's campaign.
On a Friday in 1985, Christopher Lehman left his job at the National Security Council. The following Monday, he was flying with Manafort, his new boss, to the bush of Angola to pitch the Chinese-trained guerilla Jonas Savimbi, who wanted covert assistance from the U.S. to bolster his rebellion against Angola’s Marxist government. Savimbi briefly left a battle against Cuban assault forces and signed a $600,000 contract.
The money bought Savimbi a revised reputation. Despite his client’s Maoist background, Manafort reinvented him as a freedom fighter. He knew all the tricks for manipulating right-wing opinion. Savimbi was sent to a seminar at the American Enterprise Institute, hosted by the anticommunist stalwart Jeanne Kirkpatrick, a reception thrown by the Heritage Foundation, and another confab at Freedom House. (Kirkpatrick introduced Savimbi, who conscripted soldiers, burned enemies, and indiscriminately laid land mines, as a “linguist, philosopher, poet, politician, warrior ... one of the few authentic heroes of our time.”)
Manafort’s campaign worked wonders. His lobbying helped convince Congress to send Savimbi hundreds of millions in covert aid. Indeed, every time Angola stood on the precipice of peace talks, Manafort, Black worked to generate a fresh round of arms—shipments that many experts believe extended the conflict.
On December 7, 2004, U.S. House Representative Ron Paul criticized Freedom House for allegedly administering a U.S.-funded program in Ukraine where "much of that money was targeted to assist one particular candidate." Paul said that
"one part that we do know thus far is that the U.S. government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), granted millions of dollars to the Poland-America-Ukraine Cooperation Initiative (PAUCI), which is administered by the U.S.-based Freedom House. PAUCI then sent U.S. Government funds to numerous Ukrainian non-governmental organizations (NGOs). This would be bad enough and would in itself constitute meddling in the internal affairs of a sovereign nation. But, what is worse is that many of these grantee organizations in Ukraine are blatantly in favor of presidential candidate Viktor Yushchenko."[
Asked about his oft-noted relationship to Kirkpatrick, Stone said, “We talk politics—I take her at her word that she doesn’t want to run for the Senate or for president,” indicating with a wave of the hand that he advises her on her political future. Kirkpatrick told a different story. She remembered that someone named Roger Stone called her once. She said she didn’t wish to sound rude, but they “have no relationship whatsoever.”