August 22, 2016

On ABC's This Week, Hillary Clinton's campaign manager made an appearance to remind viewers that Paul Manafort may have taken his Ukraine problems away from the Trump campaign with his resignation, but there are still many troubling associations to Vladimir Putin and Russia remaining.

"I would also point out that Paul Manafort has been pushed out," Mook said. "But that doesn't mean that the Russians have been pushed out of this campaign. The hand of the Kremlin has been at work in this campaign for some time."

"It's clear that they are supporting Donald Trump," he added.

He went on to say, "There are real questions being raised about whether Donald Trump himself is just a puppet for the Kremlin in this race?"

Mook went on to explain his concerns in detail, enumerating his reasons. From the transcript:

There's a web of financial ties to the Russians that he refuses to disclose," he We've seen over the last few week, him parroted Vladimir Putin in his own remarks. We saw the Republican Party platform changed. She saw Donald Trump talk about leaving NATO and leaving our Eastern European allies vulnerable to a Russian attack. The gentleman he brought with him to his security briefing just last week is someone who's on the payroll of the Russia Times, which is a basically a propaganda arm of the Kremlin. He was sitting two seats away from Vladimir Putin at heir 10th Anniversary gala.

There are a lot of questions here. And we need Donald Trump to disclose all of his financial ties and whether his advisers are having meetings with the Kremlin.

There are moments in this campaign where I feel like we've been shot straight back to the 60s. I'm waiting for them to reinstate "stop, drop and cover" drills resplendent with air raid sirens, so our children can experience the exquisite stress of thinking we're going to be nuked any minute.

As weird as it seems for any campaign to be talking about being "Putin's puppet," it is a very real concern, and one we can't dismiss as being outmoded. Vladimir Putin is not our friend. Russian oligarchs are not our friends.

And I will suggest this to our media: Follow the oil. All roads lead to the oil.

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