Sunday, July 24, 2016

Trump Advisor Involved in French Karachigate

Small world. The skills needed to run a financially corrupt political campaign are rare indeed, and American Trump advisor Paul Manafort lent his to a prominent French politician, according to Franklin Foer:

Money arrives to Manafort circuitously, sometimes through the dodgiest of routes. We know this because he admitted one instance to investigators. If there’s one place on the planet inhospitable to American political consultants, it is France. So when Manafort wrote a campaign strategy for Eduoard Balladur’s presidential campaign in 1995, his role was kept from the public. Payments traveled beneath the table. In fact, the French investigation revealed, the money came from a good friend and old client of Manafort’s, a Lebanese arms dealer called Abdul Rahman al-Assir. (Manafort took Assir to George H.W Bush’s inauguration in 1989; Assir once loaned Manafort $250,000, as the Washington Post reported this week).
Manafort’s fee was a small piece of a larger kickback scheme. At least $200,000 came to Manafort, some of it via accounts in Madrid. It was part of a deal brokered by Assir. He arranged for France to sell Pakistan three Agosta submarines—with tens of millions of euros in “commissions” returning to the coffers of the Balladur campaign. The scandal, known in France as the “Karachi Affair,” has hovered over the country’s politics ever since it broke in 2010. (The English ex-wife of another Franco-Lebanese arms dealer involved in l’affair revealed the Manafort payments to a French judge.)


Steven Rendall said...

Add to this the fact that Manafort also worked for Jonas Savimbi, Viktor Yanukovych, Ferdinand Marcos, Siad Barre and Mobutu Sese Seko, and you see a pattern emerging...

MCG said...

Franklin Foer's report in Slate is breath-taking. And France is only a small part of the light Foer shines on political corruption. Question. Wasn't Nicolas Sarkozy Balladur's campaign manager?