Trump advisers waged covert influence campaign

FILE - In this July 17, 2016 file photo, Trump Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort talks to reporters on the floor of the Republican National Convention at Quicken Loans Arena, Sunday, in Cleveland. Emails obtained by The Associated Press shed new light on the activities of a firm run by Donald Trump’s campaign chairman. They show it directly orchestrated a covert Washington lobbying operation on behalf of Ukraine’s ruling political party, attempting to sway American public opinion in favor of the country’s pro-Russian government. Manafort and his deputy, Rick Gates, never disclosed their work as foreign agents as required under federal law. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) – Emails obtained by The Associated Press shed new light on the activities of a firm run by Donald Trump’s campaign chairman. They show it directly orchestrated a covert Washington lobbying operation on behalf of Ukraine’s ruling political party, attempting to sway American public opinion in favor of the country’s pro-Russian government.

Paul Manafort and his deputy, Rick Gates, never disclosed their work as foreign agents between 2012 and 2014 as required under federal law.

The lobbying included attempts to gain positive press coverage of Ukrainian officials in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and AP. Another goal: undercutting American public sympathy for the imprisoned rival of Ukraine’s president.

The men have said they were not doing work that required them to register as foreign agents. Neither commented Thursday.

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