After being appointed campaign chairman, Mr. Manafort also asked his deputy, Rick Gates, to periodically share confidential Trump campaign poll data with Mr. Kilimnik, including polls showing what voters did. liked most about Hillary Clinton, the Democratic opponent of Mr. Trump. Mr. Gates “understood that Kilimnik would share the information with Deripaska,” the report said.
Transferring internal campaign data to a known Russian agent is “about as clear a coordination or cooperation as possible between two entities,” said Senator Angus King, an independent from Maine on the United States’ Intelligence Committee. Senate that votes with the Democrats.
The committee said it found evidence – redacted for national security reasons – that Mr Kilimnik may have been involved in the Russian government’s covert effort to hack into the computer networks of Democratic organizations and route harmful emails to the site. Rogue web WikiLeaks, which released them just before the election.
The report also cited but did not reveal information that it said could link Manafort to the operation, which was by far Russia’s most important effort to disrupt the US election.
Mr Manafort was forced to resign from the Trump campaign in August 2016 amid a growing scandal over his work in Ukraine. He later told the FBI that he had informed Mr. Trump about his work in Ukraine, but “did not go into details because Trump was not interested. “
Even after his ouster, Mr. Manafort remained in contact with campaign officials and with Mr. Kilimnik, who believed Mr. Manafort could still influence the foreign policy of the new administration, according to the report.
Together, the men also promoted the Kremlin-backed false story that Ukraine, not Russia, intervened in the 2016 election. The report pointed to similarities in their efforts suggesting coordination.