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Russian ex-spy reportedly pressured Manafort to pay debts to oligarch

A former Russian intelligence officer pressured Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortThere was Trump-Russia collusion — and Trump pardoned the colluder Treasury: Manafort associate passed 'sensitive' campaign data to Russian intelligence Hunter Biden blasts Trump in new book: 'A vile man with a vile mission' MORE into paying debts to a Russian oligarch, Time magazine reported Saturday.

Victor Boyarkin told Time that he had connections to Manafort, President TrumpDonald TrumpCaitlyn Jenner says election was not 'stolen,' calls Biden 'our president' Overnight Health Care: FDA authorizes Pfizer vaccine for adolescents | Biden administration reverses limits on LGBTQ health protections Overnight Defense: US fires 30 warning shots at Iranian boats | Kabul attack heightens fears of Afghan women's fates | Democratic Party leaders push Biden on rejoining Iran deal MORE's former campaign chairman, during the 2016 election on behalf of a Russian oligarch.

“He owed us a lot of money,” he said. “And he was offering ways to pay it back.” 

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Boyarkin, a former arms dealer, also told Time that he has been approached by special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerWhy a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel CNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump MORE over the connection to Manafort.

“I told them to go dig a ditch,” he said.

According to Time, Manafort was in debt to Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska, Boyarkin's boss, when he joined the Trump campaign.

Manafort reportedly tried to offer “private briefings” about the presidential race to Deripaska via email to “get whole.”

Mueller released a filing earlier this month that Manafort had lied to the FBI and special counsel about contacts with the White House and an associate with ties with Russia.