SPONSORED:

Ana Navarro: Trump attracts ‘the shadiest’ people

GOP strategist Ana Navarro on Wednesday accused President TrumpDonald TrumpHouse passes voting rights and elections reform bill DEA places agent seen outside Capitol during riot on leave Georgia Gov. Kemp says he'd 'absolutely' back Trump as 2024 nominee MORE of surrounding himself with "some of the shadiest" people following new reporting that a former top Trump aide discussed past work that he said could "benefit the Putin government."

Navarro, a frequent critic of Trump, was reacting to reports that Trump's 2016 presidential campaign chairman Paul Manafort secretly worked to advance the interests of Russian President Vladimir Putin a decade ago.

ADVERTISEMENT

The Associated Press reported earlier Wednesday that Manafort partnered with a Russian billionaire and crafted a strategy for undermining anti-Russian sentiment across former Soviet republics.

Manafort reportedly proposed the strategy as early as June 2005, ultimately signing a $10 million annual contract with Russian aluminum magnate Oleg Deripaska in 2006.

“We are now of the belief that this model can greatly benefit the Putin government if employed at the correct levels with the appropriate commitment to success,” he wrote in a 2005 memo to Deripaska, a close Putin ally. "[The effort] will be offering a great service that can re-focus, both internally and externally, the policies of the Putin government.”

Manafort told the AP that there was nothing “inappropriate or nefarious” about his collaboration with Deripaska in several nations.

“My work for Mr. Deripaska did not involve representing Russian political interests,” he said, adding that suggestions to the contrary are a “smear campaign” against him.

FBI Director James Comey on Monday confirmed the bureau is probing Russia’s meddling in the 2016 race, including possible collusion between Trump campaign officials and Moscow.

The bombshell revelation has brought new scrutiny to Manafort and other former Trump campaign officials with possible ties to Russia.