Donald Trump's campaign chairman was a key player in multi-million-dollar business propositions with Russian and Ukrainian oligarchs — one of them a close Putin ally with alleged ties to organized crime — which foreign policy experts say raises questions about the pro-Russian bent of the Trump candidacy.
"The relationships that Trump's advisors have had with pro-Russian forces are deeply disturbing," said David Kramer, a former senior State Department official in the George W. Bush administration and a former adviser to Marco Rubio's presidential campaign. "Trump's attitude on Russia is not in line with most Republican foreign-policy thinking. Trump has staked out views that are really on the fringe."
In 2008, according to court records, senior Trump aide Paul Manafort's firm was involved with a Ukrainian oligarch named Dmytro Firtash in a plan to redevelop a famous New York hotel, the Drake. The total value of the project was $850 million. Firtash's company planned to invest over $100 million, the records say.