In the Know: Manafort’s ties to Moscow
Paul Manafort is a veteran Republican operative who has worked as a Washington lobbyist and international political consultant.
His clients included authoritarian leaders, like the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos of the Philippines, Russian and Ukrainian businessmen and politicians.
Marcos hired Manafort’s firm in November 1985 to advise him on public relations and electoral strategy amid growing concerns about rampant corruption, plunder and human rights violations.
A month earlier, then US President Ronald Reagan, through his closest friend and Senate ally Paul Laxalt, told Marcos that he would withdraw US support if the dictator did not clean up his act.
Laxalt, who had chaired Reagan’s presidential campaigns and remained a key confidant, suggested that Marcos hire Manafort to help improve his unfavorable depiction in the US press.
Manafort sought and received approval from the Reagan White House before accepting the job, according to Raymond Bonner in his 1988 book “Waltzing with a Dictator: The Marcoses and the Making of American Policy.”
Manafort’s firm signed its contract to represent Marcos with a front group called The Chamber of Philippine Manufacturers, Exporters and Tourism Associations, according to its foreign agent filings with the US justice department.
The Philippine official who executed the contract was a key Marcos ally and now congressional representative of San Juan City, Ronaldo Zamora. —INQUIRER RESEARCH
Sources: Politico Magazine, Washington Post, and the wires
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.