Mueller Met With Trump’s Campaign Pollster, a Former Manafort Associate
Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team has met with Tony Fabrizio, one of Donald Trump’s campaign pollsters who is also a former business associate of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manaforts, in February 2018.
The interview had previously not been reported but has taken on new meaning after attorneys for Manafort, who was convicted in August 2018 on eight charges of tax and bank fraud, revealed that Mueller “is still interested in how Manafort shared polling data with his Russian intelligence-linked colleague.”
CNN’s journalists observed Fabrizio leaving Mueller’s office in February last year. Fabrizio is a valuable asset for Mueller’s team, as he is one of the few people close to Manafort with inside knowledge about the Trump campaign’s inner-workings and could shed light on the work Manafort did in Eastern Europe for Russian oligarchs.
The reveal was accidental: The court filing was unsealed in response to charges from the special counsel’s office that Manafort lied to investigators during his investigation of the 2016 presidential election, but within it was an indication that Manafort shared 2016 polling data and discussed a peace plan for Ukraine with Konstantin V. Kilimnik, his business associate and intermediary with the Kremlin.
President Donald Trump has denied all allegations that his campaign colluded with the Russian government to subvert the 2016 presidential election, and denied knowing about any contact between Manafort and Kilimnik when approached by reporters on the White House’s South Lawn.
“No, I didn’t know anything about it. Nothing about it,” he said in response to a reporter’s question.