Paul Manafort of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's staff listens during a round table discussion on security at Trump Tower in the Manhattan borough of New York, U.S., August 17, 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
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A firm run by Donald Trump's campaign chairman – who resigned early Friday – directly orchestrated a covert Washington lobbying operation on behalf of Ukraine's then-ruling political party, attempting to sway American public opinion in favor of the country's pro-Russian government, emails obtained by the Associated Press show.Gates personally directed the work of two prominent Washington lobbying firms in the matter, the emails show. Trump announced Friday that he had accepted Manafort's resignation as campaign chairman, less than one day after AP revealed the scope of Manafort's firm's secretive role lobbying for Ukraine political leaders. The emails do not describe details about the role of Manafort, who was Gates' boss at the firm, DMP International LLC.Gates told AP late Thursday he was busy with Trump campaign focus groups and would review the AP's questions in writing then did not respond.After AP reported earlier this week that Manafort helped the Ukrainian political party secretly route at least $2.2 million to the two Washington lobbying firms, Manafort told Yahoo News that AP's account was wrong. Gates has confirmed previously to AP that he did work for Ukraine's ruling party, the Party of Regions.
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