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Blockbuster Russia collusion story collapses, NY Times issues devastating “correction”

Blockbuster Russia collusion story collapses, NY Times issues devastating “correction”

Manafort didn’t try to pass election polling data to the Russians after all, but to the Ukrainians. OOPS.

The NY Times broke a story asserting that Paul Manafort passed secret polling data to a Russian Oligarch with close ties to Russian intelligence:

Both Mr. Manafort and Rick Gates, the deputy campaign manager, transferred the data to Mr. Kilimnik in the spring of 2016 as Mr. Trump clinched the Republican presidential nomination, according to a person knowledgeable about the situation. Most of the data was public, but some of it was developed by a private polling firm working for the campaign, according to the person.

Mr. Manafort asked Mr. Gates to tell Mr. Kilimnik to pass the data to Oleg V. Deripaska, a Russian oligarch who is close to the Kremlin and who has claimed that Mr. Manafort owed him money from a failed business venture, the person said. It is unclear whether Mr. Manafort was acting at the campaign’s behest or independently, trying to gain favor with someone to whom he was deeply in debt.


The seedy slimy usual suspects were ecstatic, they finally had Trump right where they wanted him. This was the proof they all had been waiting for. The walls were closing in on Trump.

Josh Marshall called it “The Big Boom“:

Marshall then doubled down, The ‘Collusion’ Debate Ended Last Night (emphasis added):

As I signaled last night, the seemingly accidental redaction error in the Manafort legal filing combined with the news published mid-evening by The New York Times is one of the biggest revelations in more than two years of the Trump/Russia scandal. It’s bigger than the Trump Tower meeting in June 2016, though the two cases can’t be fully understood without reference to each other. Just as importantly, these new revelations combined with earlier reports effectively end the debate about whether there was ‘collusion’ between Russia and the Trump campaign during the 2016 election. There was. It wasn’t marginal. It was happening at the very top of the campaign. The campaign manager was secretly funneling campaign data and information to a Russian oligarch closely tied to Russian President Vladimir Putin, someone who had no possible use for such information other than to use it in the Russian efforts to get Donald Trump elected President.

Law Professor Paul Campos, citing Marshall’s analysis, took Republicans to task, The Collusion Debate Is Over:

What follows is an incredibly damning and detailed account of how Donald Trump’s campaign manager worked directly with Russian intelligence to defeat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election.  After the election, Manafort was debriefed by Russian intelligence, as any spy would be in such circumstances.

Note that this revelation comes from one failure, intentional or otherwise, to fully redact one document in Mueller’s sprawling investigation.

How long will the Republican party choose to continue to tolerate the Trump administration’s combination of profound corruption and utter incompetence? ….

Martin Longman at Washington Monthly echoed the praise for Marshall’s analysis of this bombshell news:

Josh Marshall does a very good job of explaining why it is now beyond doubt that Paul Manafort, while serving as the campaign chairman of the Trump campaign, actively colluded with the Kremlin in their efforts to get Donald Trump elected president. What this means is that the president will probably have to fall back to a position he should have taken from the beginning. He’s going to have to argue that he knew nothing about what Manafort was doing and that he’s appalled to learn the details….

James Hohman at the Washington Post noted the significance of the news, and then summarized similar analysis from others, The new Russia revelations are more consequential than Trump’s newsless immigration speech (emphasis in original):

— The more consequential story coming out of Tuesday was the result of a flub by Paul Manafort’s defense team. It accidentally revealed, because of botched redactions, that the former Trump campaign chairman allegedly shared 2016 presidential campaign polling data with Konstantin Kilimnik, an associate the FBI has said has ties to Russian intelligence. Manafort’s attorneys were responding to allegations by special counsel Bob Mueller that the former Trump campaign chairman lied repeatedly to prosecutors after agreeing to cooperate.

The filing indicates “a pathway by which the Russians could have had access to Trump campaign data,” Rachel Weiner, Spencer Hsu and Rosalind Helderman report. “The Russian citizen, who began working for Manafort’s consulting firm starting in 2005, has been charged with helping his former boss to obstruct Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference into the 2016 election. He is believed to be in Moscow. …

— Several experts said the Deripaska connection makes this news a huge deal:

“Remember, the polling info Manafort passed to Kilimnik was headed to Deripaska, who is close to Putin,” said Steven Hall, the former chief of Russia operations at the CIA. “The margins the Russians needed to change in key states during the 2016 elections [were] pretty small. Now we know how they were able to be so precise: Paul Manafort was providing polling data to Russia.”

“Manafort, who knows Deripaska very well and isn’t a total idiot, thought internal campaign data was worth real money to the oligarch (i.e., to count against Manafort’s debt). That only makes sense if Deripaska was passing on to others — and that Manafort KNEW he was,” saidDavid Burbach, who teaches national security and international relations at the Naval War College. “Deripaska himself would have more use for Arby’s BBQ sauce recipe.”

“Big story. New info,” said former Nixon White House counsel John Dean, a central figure in the Watergate scandal. “It’s called COLLUSION!”

“If proven, then call it by whatever c word that you want — collusion, cooperation, conspiracy — but this is serious,” said former U.S. ambassador to Russia Mike McFaul, a professor at Stanford University.

“This is potentially very significant evidence of collusion,” said Post columnist Max Boot, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations who advised the John McCain and Mitt Romney presidential campaigns on foreign policy but who has emerged as a Trump critic. “Why would Manafort share polling data with the Russians unless it was to help them target their pro-Trump social media campaign?”

Atlantic writer David Frum, a former speechwriter for George W. Bush, posed another question: “Did the flow of data to the Russians from the Trump campaign halt when Manafort was fired August 19, 2016? Or not?”

— “Internal polling data is precious. It reveals your strengths—and your weaknesses,” saidSen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.). “Why share such valuable information with a foreign adversary—unless that adversary was really a friend?”

 “It also bears asking, yet again, why someone like Manafort felt the need to allegedly lie about this stuff — especially at the expense of his cooperation agreement and further legal jeopardy he was well familiar with,” writes Aaron Blake.

Media Matters complained that Fox News was not giving the story enough coverage:

New reports that President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort shared polling data during the 2016 presidential campaign with an individual connected to Russian intelligence have received little attention on Fox News.



Ken Meyer at Mediaite reports, New York Times Makes Major Correction to Report on Manafort and Russian Oligarch:

New York Times has made a significant edit to their report on Paul Manafort‘s sharing of Trump campaign polling data with an associate believed to be connected to Russian intelligence.

There’s been a great deal of commotion lately after Manafort’s legal team botched a series of court redactions and inadvertently revealed that he gave campaign data to his former business partner, Konstantin Kilimnik. When the Times initially reported on the news, they said Manafort had his former campaign deputy Rick Gates pass the data to Kilimnik so it could be relayed to Oleg Deripaska, a Russian oligarch closely tied to the Kremlin.

On Wednesday, the Times made a correction to their piece, saying Manafort actually wanted Kilimnik to direct the data to Ukrainian oligarchs Serhiy Lyovochkin and Rinat Akhmetov, not Deripaska.

Here’s the Times‘ correction:

A previous version of this article misidentified the people to whom Paul Manafort wanted a Russian associate to send polling data. Mr. Manafort wanted the data sent to two Ukrainian oligarchs, Serhiy Lyovochkin and Rinat Akhmetov, not Oleg V. Deripaska, a Russian oligarch close to the Kremlin.

So the polling information was intended for the Ukrainians, not the Russians.


Marshall was forced to eat crow to his prior post (quoted above):

[Ed. Note: Early this afternoon, the Times published a correction. Manafort asked for his campaign data to be passed not to Oleg Deripaska but two pro-Russian Ukrainian oligarchs named Serhiy Lyovochkin and Rinat Akhmetov, financial backers of Viktor Yanukovych. This is a major correction and a major error. But as I explain here, I don’t think it changes the big picture. Manafort was sending confidential campaign data back to pro-Russian figures in Ukraine while Russia was conducting a major effort to elect Donald Trump. I’ve left the post below as written before the Times‘ correction.]

Another one bites the dust.


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They knew it was b.s. from the beginning.

Welcome to Fake News for useful idiots.

We MUST vote with our pocketbooks.

Maybe I’m missing something here on this story.

Doesn’t CNN and NY times send polling data to the Tussians every week? And also to anyone else who still bothers to read their sites or watch them on TV.


Honest to goodness, polling data is publicly available information. Even “private” polling is publicly available information gathered by asking … wait for it … ta da! .. the “general public”!

Not exactly state secrets.

If I talk to a Russian friend about the 2020 election and who I think will win or a poll I saw on TV, am I now colluding?

They are trying to spin gold not from straw, but thin air.

All of those oligarchs look alike… and speak the same language.

    Bucky Barkingham in reply to alaskabob. | January 10, 2019 at 7:25 am

    Ukrainian and Russian are not the same language.

    Morning Sunshine in reply to alaskabob. | January 10, 2019 at 8:53 am

    you are right, Ukrainians and Russians do not speak the same language.

    But I got the impression that Alaskabob was being sarcastic, as in “ukrainian, russian, they have the same accent in english, and they both live in cold similar places, and most stupid Trump voters won’t know the difference anyway.” (read that in your best cold-war soviet accent)

“Secret polling data.”

Golly, what a concept. That sure sounds big, all rightie. The Empire is about to fall, for sure.

Now, if Manafort had just put any really secret stuff he wanted the Russkies to get in an e-mail and sent it to his account on his private, unsecured e-mail server—I hear they’re all the rage—he’d be in the clear. Even if he has official security clearances. We know this because of ground-breaking—not to mention glass-ceiling-breaking—work done by that quintessential D’rat, Hillary.

In principle, they don’t count the babies until Stork delivers them. However, despite their religion… Nay, because of their religion, they do when it is politically congruent.

This is the old saw of “A lie is halfway around the world before the truth gets its shoes on”. The left counts on this in their daily lies and it has worked for them very well. Unfortunately, Trump has diminished his own credibility by constantly exaggerating almost everything he says. I guess it’s from his years working on the biggest lying medium on Earth, TV. It appears that he used good facts in his border security speech so we have not seen any big “Fact checks” from the talking heads.

    tom_swift in reply to inspectorudy. | January 9, 2019 at 11:59 pm

    Trump has diminished his own credibility by constantly exaggerating almost everything he says.

    Not to any listener who can distinguish between mild verbal extravagance (a.k.a. “salesmanship”) and outright lies.

    DaveGinOly in reply to inspectorudy. | January 10, 2019 at 11:06 am

    I think that Trump is playing the media when he lies/exaggerates. If he presented his message in completely truthful, ordinary terms, it wouldn’t get out. By presenting his message the way he does, he causes the news media to repeat his message over and over, until his next tweet, at which time the cycle repeats. He’s hit on a way to get the hostile MSM to amplify his message for him, and the MSM is so generally stupid that they’re obliging him.

And the consequences for this journalistic malfeasance are … ?

I’m trying to be gentle, but the thrust of the case is that regardless of what Manafort might have “wanted”, he knew, or should have known, that the polling data would wind up in the hands of Deripaska, which was the equivalent of Putin himself, and Putin’s intelligence services. The correction is meaningless.

It’s also.. I heard Joy Behar said this was treason? We’re treating handing over polling data like it’s nuclear secrets, are we? Complete madness. The correction may be meaningless, but the accusation itself is, in a just and sane world, also meaningless.

Couldn’t the Russians have paid one of the polling companies for polling data? This information doesn’t seem to be that difficult to obtain.

Who cares if he did give polling data to the Russians? It’s all lies anyway!

    PersonofInterests in reply to irv. | January 10, 2019 at 10:14 am

    And what is more, what pray tell does polling data do to advance anything to do with Russia or even Ukraine??

    A used car salesman can promise that the pool of oil under the car that he’s trying to sell you means nothing but it is up to you to believe him and take the risk that he is right. There isn’t a night that goes by that we don’t see episodes from the Leftwing Media Complex that is for the recipient to hear, believe, and make use of.


Bwa ha ha, were those the same polls that said Hilary had a 95% chance of winning?

amatuerwrangler | January 10, 2019 at 4:45 am

Can someone explain, so CA hillbilly can understand, just why the Soviets would want Trump to defeat Hillary!.
– Hillary was obviously be a continuation of the Obama admin;
– Hillary already did the yellow cake deal with them;
– Obama funded the continuing Iranian (soviet buddies) terror by releasing the impounded funds;
– The Soviets were paid up members of the Clinton Foundation.

I see no reason they would not want her in the driver seat.

Polling data?? Really??

I guess they don’ t have them thar interwebs in Russia, so they couldnt go on 538

caseoftheblues | January 10, 2019 at 5:06 am

And as always lost in the kerfuffle…..even if there was’s..not..a.crime!

Polling data is a crime, yet 145 million to the Clinton’s from the Russians is fine. If Mueller is investigating Russian interference, why isn’t that part of the investigation.

Based on the results we have seen, giving someone polling data is more like spreading disinformation. Polls have proven to be so unreliable, I don’t see why anyone cares. And on top of that, where’s the crime in broadcasting polling data far and wide?

The polling data that was given to a couple of Ukrainian (not Russian) Oligarchs probably showed Trump losing bigly anyway like all the polling data did at that time. The Mueller witch hunt is still looking for that elusive crime behind Russian collusion to take down Trump. All they have to do is turn around and look at the other side to find the real crimes. Why is that so hard?

PersonofInterests | January 10, 2019 at 10:05 am

Something needs to be done about the Demtard Media Complex of Alphabet Networks, Presstitutes, and Social Media Censors. They are so dishonest and corrupt; so biased and uniformly so that you can tune into any of them and the story line is the same. Witness the lead up to the appearance of Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi posing as the individuals in the painting “American Gothic” after the President delivered his Prime Time Speech for the Border Wall/Barrier/Fence: EVERY SINGLE NETWORK TALKING HEAD OF THE NETWORKS WAS SLAMING HIS POSITION TO PROTECT THE COUNTRY AS WRONG AND THAT THE GOV’T. SHUTDOWN SHOULD BE STOPPED. We didn’t ask for your opinions or editorials !!!

It’s fairly obvious that they all drink from the same Kool Aid Dispenser and that they cannot be trusted to deliver fact based truth; only hyperbole and BS.

America deserves better and ought not lend its airwaves to what these Demtard Propagandist who behave as Pravda of the former Soviet Union, the Ministry of Propaganda of Nazi Germany’s Joseph Goebbels, or Saddam Hussein’s “Bagdad Bob.” Our Founding Fathers provided them with First Amendment Protections to dispense fact based truth and not Political Propaganda

It isn’t so much the Russians one has to worry as a clear and present danger to the’a the Commiecrats one should worry over.

Russians … Ukrainians

“Long hair – short hair, what’s the difference once the head’s blowed off” — Farmer at Max Yasgur, National Lampoon’s Woodstock

William A. Jacobson: Manafort didn’t try to pass election polling data to the Russians after all, but to the Ukrainians. OOPS.

Manafort directly passed the polling data to Konstantin Kilimnik, a Ukrainian-Russian with close ties to Russian intelligence.

Cat Herder: And on top of that, where’s the crime in broadcasting polling data far and wide?

Campaigns spend millions of dollars to gather extensive voter profiles, especially in election battlegrounds. The obvious question and equally obvious answer is why Manafort would pass proprietary election information on to someone he knew had ties to Russian intelligence while Russia was engaging in election interference in the U.S.

    Mac45 in reply to Zachriel. | January 10, 2019 at 12:15 pm

    So, exactly what are the benefits, to the Trump campaign, of giving in-house polling data to Russia? Was it sold to them? Was there any quid pro quo involved? How did Trump benefit? If Russia was betting on the winner of the election and had inside information which suggested that Trump would probably win, this would benefit Russia. But, how would it benefit Trump?

    This has always been the biggest failing of the Trump-Russia collusion fantasy. No one has ever been able to identify what Trump got out of any such collusion. A lousy $1000 worth of Facebook adds could have been run by a guy in his basement in Des Moines. The campaign certainly did not need to involve the Russians for that. This has always been the question which it has proven impossible to answer; what did Trump expect to gain from the the Russians?

    In this case, Manafort had made a great deal of money working for the Ukrainians. He probably intended to make considerably more more money from them in the future. He might have personally benefited from giving powerful members of Ukraine this information. But, there is no evidence that this information transfer benefited Trump in any way. This information is like finding a smoking gun in a man’s hand at the scene of a homicide, then finding that it does not match the bullet in the corpse.

      Mac45: So, exactly what are the benefits, to the Trump campaign, of giving in-house polling data to Russia?

      That’s a good question. Manafort met with Kilimnik at least three times. The information would have allowed more targeted trolling by the Russian troll farm.

      Mac45: A lousy $1000 worth of Facebook adds could have been run by a guy in his basement in Des Moines.

      It’s not the ads, but a Russian-engineered troll farm targeting persuadable voters.

      Mac45: Manafort had made a great deal of money working for the Ukrainians. He probably intended to make considerably more more money from them in the future.

      That may have been a motive, but there is certainly evidence that the highest levels of the Trump campaign were colluding with the Russians, that many people within the Trump campaign lied about their contacts with the Russians, and that Trump has attempted to impede the investigation throughout the process.


        tlcomm2 in reply to Zachriel. | January 10, 2019 at 1:30 pm

        For all of Putin’s help, he is rewarded with the ONLY thing Putin REQUIRES DESPERATELY – higher oil prices – OOPS ;). Your whole argument fails – as usual.

          tlcomm2: For all of Putin’s help, he is rewarded with the ONLY thing Putin REQUIRES DESPERATELY – higher oil prices

          Actually, Putin was rewarded with a weakening of the western alliance, political disruption and distraction in the U.S., and a free hand in eastern Europe. Putin has weak cards, but plays them well.

        Mac45 in reply to Zachriel. | January 10, 2019 at 5:35 pm

        Russian troll farm??? The Russian Troll farm indictments are nothing more than a red herring from Mueller. What the alleged troll farms did was basically a disinformation campaign using social media. Big deal. The Steele dossier was the same thing and it was used by the US government to conduct illegal surveillance on US citizens within the US as well as illegally surveil a Presidential campaign. Then we have President Obama actually traveling to foreign countries, notably Kenya and Israel and actively campaigning for candidates. In both these cases we have obvious collusion between political campaigns and the government of the United States, and people think that this is acceptable. However, when a Russian troll farm does the same thing, it becomes a crime.

        Further, we still have no evidence that the Trump administration paid this Russian troll farm, unlike the reams of evidence that the Clinton campaign paid for the Steele Dossier; a false narrative created by a foreign citizen with ties to a foreign government.

          Mac45: What the alleged troll farms did was basically a disinformation campaign using social media.

          It would constitute an illegal campaign contribution, and a criminal conspiracy against the United States. If members of the Trump campaign colluded, then they may be criminally implicated. There was a lot of lying going on concerning campaign members and contacts with Russian agents.

          Barry in reply to Mac45. | January 10, 2019 at 8:20 pm

          “Zachriel” is a paid communist provocateur, paid to spread commie lies and bullshit.

          Never sells here except to the 1 or 2 nevertrumpers.

          He’s also just a complete dishonest degenerate.

          Barry: a paid communist provocateur, paid to spread commie lies and bullshit.

          We are not a communist, nor a provacateur. Our comments are are own and freely given. Nor is ad hominem an effective argument.

      Zardoz in reply to Mac45. | January 10, 2019 at 6:41 pm

      Wickedly correct logic. Bravo Zulu!

      Zardoz in reply to Mac45. | January 10, 2019 at 6:41 pm

      Wickedly correct logic. Bravo Zulu!

One of the longer run benefits of the resistance will be the final destruction of the myth of. New York Times reliability and integrity. Even as a teenager in NYC sixty plus years ago I knew from personal experience that the Times’s account of events had nothing to do with reality.
Let me add a bit of additional light on the Times’s continued hostile reporting about Israel.
I was a young Zionist activist who went out on the streets with a blue colored can to collect funds for Jewish National Fund land purchases. All of us were aware of how the first Sulzberger
shared the Emmanuel Temple disdain for and prejudice against the Ostjuden (Eastern European Jews). Sulzberger (or Scumberger, my name for him and his progeny) rose to publisher of the Times by the expedience of marrying Ochs’s daughter, Iphenegia, if you can believe that,
just as the current Scumberger did so by being born). Ochs himself was a Southern Democrat racist(he came from Chattanooga).

This part is the best- “The margins the Russians needed to change in key states during the 2016 elections [were] pretty small. Now we know how they were able to be so precise:”

So how, exactly did they make those changes, with those facebook ads? Did hundreds of Russians move to these states and register to vote a few dozen times each, did they manipulate the machines?

Are these guys implying Russians can “change” votes? Sure looks like another example of journalistic collusion to me…

    DaveGinOly in reply to Chicklet. | January 10, 2019 at 11:19 am

    If you recall, the original accusation was Russian “hacking,” meaning the direct and literal hacking of election results to literally throw the election. This was very quickly debunked, there being zero evidence that voting was electronically “hacked.”

    Like “global warming” was morphed into “climate change” when “warming” was becoming harder to sell, “hacking” eventually became “collusion.” “Collusion” is easier to sell than actual “hacking” (which is both illegal and requires actual proof, while collusion is not illegal and can be implied or suggested with sufficient volume and regularity that people can be made to accept it as fact).

“”while Russia was engaging in election interference in the U.S.””

Lying doesn’t help your case. Virtually all of the Russian activity (all few hundred K of it) occurred AFTER the election.

    txvet2: Virtually all of the Russian activity (all few hundred K of it) occurred AFTER the election.

    The DNC hack occurred before the election, and the release of the stolen information was timed for maximum political damage to the Clinton campaign. The Russian troll farm was very active before the election.

      Barry in reply to Zachriel. | January 10, 2019 at 8:23 pm

      More paid commie lies.

      “The DNC hack occurred before the election”, and was carried out by a DNC insider, who was then murdered by the DNC.

        Barry: “The DNC hack occurred before the election”, and was carried out by a DNC insider, who was then murdered by the DNC.

        All major intelligence agencies in the West, as well as private cybersecurity experts, who have studied the question, have concluded that the hack was carried out by Russian government agents.

So yesterday, I’m at the doctors office. Of course, The View was on the communal television. Whoopi’s Goldberg was practically giddy with this news actually dancing a little jig singing “Collusion! Collusion! Collusion!”

Wonder how she feels today after this story falls apart.

After more than eight trimesters, the narrative clump has been deemed not viable, not politically congruent, and will be aborted? But it’s so emotionally appealing, diverse, and bipartisan.

Polling Data?
Oh, secret Polling Data…
Seriously, what is the value of a poll, anyway?

    snowshooze: Seriously, what is the value of a poll, anyway?

    The campaigns spend millions of dollars on sophisticated data operations in order to be able to target presuadable voters. The DNC data was stolen by Russia.

      Barry in reply to Zachriel. | January 10, 2019 at 8:26 pm

      “The DNC data was stolen by Russia.”


      It was stolen by DNC insider Marc Rich who was then murdered by you commies.

Hillary supporter sent login requests and emails to Trump Tower computers multiple times using the entry signature as Alfa-Trump. Alfa is a large Russian bank. She then went to Fusion/Steele and said she had information that Trump was dealing with Russian banks and suggested his computer be searched.
This was then incorporated in the dossier.
Jean Camp is a computer professor at Indiana University.

I fully expect to find out that:
a) Mueller finds only process crimes or crimes that have nothing to do with Trump
b) the FBI initially fooled Obama with the “Steele dossier” (at least that is what he will claim)
c) all the Obama Administration minions claim that Obama signed an actionable “finding” and/or the initial FISA warrant
d) those who broke the law in the process of carrying out this actionable finding, are on their own (the famous “Secretary will disavow any knowledge” clause)

Note that c) & d) seem to be just like Iran-Contra affair, so I’m waiting for “the cake and the Bible”

The next breaking story will be “Boris and Natasha discussed the US Presidential election with Bullwinkle.” Rocky the Flying Squirrel will be called to testify before Congress.

Do Mika and Joe know? Just asking.

I totally missed this whole story.