Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort came under strong pressure from an ex-Russian spy during the presidential campaign to pay his debts to an oligarch, Time revealed. Victor Boyarkin, who was recently put on a sanctions list by the U.S. government, acknowledged to Time that he was in touch with Manafort at the heart of the presidential campaign on behalf of the oligarch. “He owed us a lot of money,” Boyarkin said. “And he was offering ways to pay it back.” Although special counsel Robert Mueller’s office reportedly approached him as part of their investigation, Boyarkin claims he declined to cooperate. But he does appear to be an important link between the Trump campaign and Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska, a man who is seen as a powerful ally of President Vladimir Putin.
When Manafort joined Trump’s campaign he was almost broke and Deripaska was demanding money from him “over a failed business deal in Ukraine and other ventures,” reports Time. Boyarkin was charged with collecting those debts. “I came down on him hard,” Boyarkin now says. Manafort was in some $17 million in debt. Source: Former Russian Spy Reportedly Pressured Manafort to Pay Back Oligarch Debts