Hillary Campaign Chairman Tied to Russian Lobby

Podesta Group did Putin PR work.

While much has been made of the tie between Donald Trump's now former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Russian autocrat Vladimir Putin, less has been made of the ties between Hillary Clinton's campaign and pro-Putin forces in Ukraine. Manafort, who stepped down as Trump's campaign chairman on Friday, previously worked for the pro-Russian president of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukoych. 

But according to the Associated Press, so too did a firm founded and at that point headed up by Hillary Clinton's campaign manager John Podesta -- all thanks to a contract from Manafort.

Manafort and business associate Rick Gates, another top strategist in Trump's campaign, were working in 2012 on behalf of the political party of Ukraine's then-president, Viktor Yanukovych.

People with direct knowledge of Gates' work said that, during the period when Gates and Manafort were consultants to the Ukraine president's political party, Gates was also helping steer the advocacy work done by a pro-Yanukovych nonprofit that hired a pair of Washington lobbying firms, Podesta Group Inc. and Mercury LLC.

While the reports from AP point to nothing illegal, the ties between Manafort, Podesta and Putin do raise questions about the relationship of Clinton's campaign to the Russian autocrat, especially as they try to tie Trump to Putin.