Manafort sought to hurt Clinton 2016 campaign efforts in key states: NYT

Manafort sought to hurt Clinton 2016 campaign efforts in key states: NYT
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Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortGiuliani draws attention with latest trip to Ukraine GOP senators request interview with former DNC contractor to probe possible Ukraine ties GOP fantasies about Ukrainian election 'interference' blow up Trump's impeachment defense MORE, the former campaign chairman for President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says he will 'temporarily hold off' on declaring Mexican drug cartels as terror organization House Judiciary Committee formally receives impeachment report Artist behind gold toilet offered to Trump sells banana duct-taped to a wall for 0,000 MORE, sought to establish a back channel to hurt Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonYang expands campaign with senior hires for digital operations Top GOP legislator in California leaves party GOP senators request interview with former DNC contractor to probe possible Ukraine ties MORE’s 2016 campaign effort in key states, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

Manafort wanted to form a back channel to the AFL-CIO, the main labor federation in the U.S., to encourage it to reduce get-out-the-vote efforts designed to help Clinton in Michigan and Wisconsin, three people close to the 2016 Trump campaign told the Times. The federation typically backs Democrats for the White House and had endorsed Clinton.

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The former campaign chairman reportedly suggested to the AFL-CIO that then-candidate Donald Trump was open to loosening his backing of right-to-work laws that unions usually disagree with, one of the people briefed told the Times.

There is no evidence that a deal was made or executed between the Trump campaign and the AFL-CIO, but Manafort told others that he was using Steven Brown to connect with at least two senior federation officials, three people with knowledge of what took place told The Times. 

Brown, who worked with Manafort in Ukraine in 2013, had pushed to meet with an AFL-CIO field operative Don Slaiman, who initially told the Times that they communicated through spokesman Josh Goldstein. 

“He wanted to meet with me,” Slaiman told the Times. “I never did. I responded to him because we regularly communicated with both Democrats and Republicans — our focus is on pro-labor issues not party identification.”

These con artists were delusional if they believed that the labor movement would enter into any kind of deal,” he added.

The Hill reached out to the White House, the AFL-CIO, the Trump re-election campaign and an attorney for Manafort for comment. Manafort's attorney declined to comment.

Manafort is currently in prison for tax fraud, bank fraud and failure to disclose a foreign bank account. He left Trump’s campaign in August 2016.

Trump won Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania as some experts have said Clinton did not spend enough resources in the battleground states.