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So they would not have gotten them if they were arguing for NATO — let's join NATO — policies." Skepticism about NATO had the virtue of appealing to many Ukrainian speakers as well.
Manafort has always said he tried to Westernize the party and steer it towards a democratic model, and denies any part in anti-NATO messaging, but Ukrainian critics and U. As NBC News previously reported, federal officials say that the money Manafort earned from both the party and the oligarchs — and what he did with it — are part of what has drawn the attention of investigators. Manafort, the son of a wealthy Connecticut builder, had worked as a lobbyist and as an aide for Republican presidents before his stint in Ukraine. Filipino dictator Ferdinand Marcos, Angolan guerilla leader Jonas Savimbi, and Zairian strongman Mobutu Sese Seko were among his clients.
He had built a reputation for repackaging controversial foreign leaders for U. In 2004, Manafort was hired by clients in Ukraine who needed a similar image overhaul.
Yanukovych lost the do-over election to Yushchenko, but Manafort won a job he would keep for a decade.
Manafort was hired to prepare the Party of Regions for the parliamentary elections of 2006, in which Yanukovych would try to reclaim the office of prime minister. State Department cable from 2006 said that Manafort's job was to give the Party of Regions an "extreme makeover" and "change its image from …
The whole idea, it really worked." Along with advocacy of making Russian the second, official state language, Manafort pushed "anti-NATO propaganda," said Chornovil.